Democrats Announce Path to Citizenship for Certain Immigrant Children
This week, a bi-partisan group in the United States Senate introduced a bill that would allow children who had entered with their parents on short-term visas to apply for permanent residence, and ultimately citizenship. Currently, many adult immigrants on temporary work visas are unable to obtain permanent residency or otherwise face long delays, forcing their dependent children, who have frequently grown up in the United States, to leave the country once they turn 21.
The Senate bill, entitled the America’s Children Act, would allow young adults who have been in the United States on a valid visa for more than 10 years and graduated from college to apply for permanent residence, better known as a “green card.” This path to citizenship would provide long-term relief for several hundred thousand young people in the United States who would be required to depart the country once they had completed their education. The bill would also provide work authorization to children over the age of 16 with pending green card applications, as well as protect children whose cases are significantly delayed due to government backlogs.
The bill was sponsored by Democrats Alex Padilla (Calif.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), and Chris Coons (Del.), as well as Republicans Rand Paul (Ky.) and Susan Collins (Maine).