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Proposed Pathways to Greencards for DACA and TPS Recipients

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As a part of the initial items on its legislative agenda, the Biden administration and congressional Democrats have proposed two pieces of legislation aimed at immigration reform. One proposed act is HR 6, the American Dream and Promise Act. This Act predominantly considers the reshaping of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and expanding such protection to other groups.

Expedited Permanent Residence for DACA Recipients, Conditional Permanent Residence, Temporary Protected Status make up the bulk of immigration topics addressed within HR 6. First, the legislation would allow DACA recipients to become eligible for a new enhanced and “streamlined” process of permanent residence, with many current barriers for applicants to be removed. This would include the elimination of additional, administrative filing fees and the eligibility of those qualifying for conditional status to become immediately eligible.

Second, the criteria for conditional permanent residence involves substantial revision, and lists certain requirements of which automatically grants eligibility to an applicant. These qualifying factors include:

  • continuously being a resident in the United States before January 1, 2021,
  • initially arriving in the United States before the age of 18,
  • passing the requisite security and law enforcement background checks, and
  • maintaining a criminal record absent of substantial, enumerated offenses.

Third, the status of nationals who are considered unsafe to accept return to their countries of origin and have received either Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Enforced Departure would become eligible for Legal Permanent Residency. Under such distinction, all removal proceedings against the applicant would be canceled if they met certain addressed criteria. Among the factors considered for this qualification are maintaining residency in the US for three years before the legislation is adopted, having been eligible for Temporary Protected Status on September 17, 2017, or having been eligible for Deferred Enforced Departure on January 20, 2021.

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