MPLG welcomes the relief that would come with the approval and implementation of these bills. However, we remain cautious of their outcomes based upon the current Administration’s conservative stance on immigration.
2017 DREAM ACT
The Senate and House each introduced new bills, S. 1615: Dream Act of 2017 and H.R. 3440: Dream Act of 2017, which cancels removal and grants Lawful Permanent Resident status on a conditional basis, for qualifying beneficiaries and certain DACA recipients. Each bill details a series of specific requirements that must be satisfied to qualify for relief. The bills also specify a guided approach to evaluate expunged convictions and waivers that the Secretary may grant, that would otherwise make applicants ineligible. The term of the permanent resident status on a conditional basis has a term of eight years, and the conditional terms may be removed after satisfying another set of requirements.
The introduction of these bills indicates that there is bipartisan support to provide Dreamers with a path towards Lawful Permanent Resident status, so long as they meet the specific requirements, are not a threat to national security, and have not committed crimes. However, bills providing amnesty to Dreamers have been introduced before, dating back to the George W. Bush Administration, and they have all failed. On the Wednesday before these bills were introduced, a White House Official stated that President Trump would not sign an updated version of the Dream Act. This goes against President Trump’s openness to an immigration reform bill that provides Dreamers with an opportunity to acquire Lawful Permanent Resident Status. Yet, Dreamers remain hopeful that President Trump will take a favorable stance on these bills amidst the uncertainty that continues to loom over the DACA program and their future in the United States.