What the 2023 Dream Act Would Mean for Young Immigrants

For many immigrants known as Dreamers, the United States is the only home they’ve ever known. Even though they’ve grown up and built their lives in this country, they often live in fear of deportation. The Dream Act of 2023 could resolve these fears by offering a path to citizenship.

What Is the Dream Act of 2023?

The Dream Act of 2023 is a bipartisan bill introduced to the US Senate by South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin. It provides deportation protection for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children and grew up here for the majority of their lives.

Additionally, the bill provides an opportunity for these immigrants to obtain lawful permanent residence in the U.S. This would also allow them to work legally in the U.S. and to travel outside the country without the fear that they wouldn’t be allowed to return.

Who Would Qualify for the Dream Act of 2023?

The pathway to citizenship under the Dream Act first offers conditional permanent resident status for up to eight years. To qualify, Dreamers would need to:

  • Show that they were 17 or younger when they were brought to the U.S.
  • Establish that they’ve lived in the U.S. continuously for at least four years before the bill’s enactment
  • Pass a government background check
  • Demonstrate “good moral character”
  • Have no felonies or multiple misdemeanor convictions
  • Submit to a biometric and medical exam
  • Show they’ve earned a high school diploma or are in the process of earning one (or an equivalent)
  • Provide evidence they’ve been admitted to a college or university
  • Pay an application fee

Conditional permanent status can be lost if a recipient commits a serious crime or doesn’t meet the bill’s requirements. After Dreamers have earned conditional permanent residency, they can change their status to lawful permanent residency once they meet the following requirements:

  • Reside in the US continuously
  • Show they can read, write and speak English
  • Pass law enforcement background checks
  • Demonstrate they have proficiency in U.S. history and government

Conditional permanent residents also have to be on an educational, military or work track to obtain lawful status. They can graduate from a college or university (or complete at least two years of a bachelor’s or higher degree program in the U.S.), finish two years of honorable military service, or work in the U.S. for a period that totals three years.

Know Your Rights as an Immigrant

The Dream Act of 2023 has not passed in the Senate yet, which means many Dreamers are still at risk of deportation. At the law office of Mark E. Jacobs, P.C., we work to keep you in the country you grew up in so you can live your life as you planned.

If you have questions about deportation or need guidance about your status, we’re here to help. Schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable Dallas immigration law attorney by calling our law office at 972-445-7577 or send us a message online today.

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