President Trump announced is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), however the White house made it clear they want a solution to protect the “DREAMers” who now face the possibility of deportation and there are several bills pending that could make that happen:
Dream Act, sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
According to the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the Dream Act has many of the same protections in place as DACA does, and also creates a path for citizenship or permanent legal resident status if applicants meet certain requirements; DACA did not provide such a path.
Qualifications for permanent status in the Dream Act include having lived in the U.S. for a certain length of time and meeting certain educational, work or military service requirements. It would take at least 13 years for those eligible to achieve citizenship.
Recognizing America’s Children (RAC) Act, sponsored by Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla.
“The bill provides immigrants that have been vetted by The Department of Homeland Security with three pathways toward legalization: higher education, service in the armed forces, or work authorization. Following a 5-year conditional status, these immigrants would be able to reapply for a 5-year permanent status,” Curbelo said in a press release announcing the bill earlier this year. At the end of their permanent status — after a total of 10 years, according to the NILC — DREAMers could apply for citizenship.
Hope Act, sponsored by Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill.
To be eligible, people must have entered the U.S. before age 18. It does not include any work, education or military requirements, but does reject people who have been convicted of certain crimes, according to the NILC.
It also provides the fastest path to citizenship. Those eligible can apply for conditional permanent residency, valid for up to eight years, and after three years can apply for lawful permanent residence status. After a total of five years, they can apply for U.S. citizenship.
BRIDGE Act, sponsored by Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo.
The BRIDGE Act — which stands for Bar Removal of Individuals Who Dream and Grow our Economy — was proposed back in January, and essentially would codify the current DACA program into law and extend it for three years, allowing Congress more time to come up with a comprehensive, long-term solution on immigration reform. Unlike the other bills in Congress, it does not include a path to citizenship.