Immigration continues to be a politically charged issue in the United States. The next president will be inaugurated on January 20, 2021, and he will be faced with some difficult decisions.
Almost everyone agrees that it is past time to reform the US immigration system. Experts believe the current approach is not really sustainable.
National Immigration Law Center
The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is one of the most prominent activist groups leading the charge to improve the laws governing immigration and to help ensure the integrity of our country’s immigration system.
In April 2019, NILC finalized a new strategic framework, which will govern their work over the next five years. As per their mission statement, “this framework represents a shift in our strategy orientation in recognition of the fact that legal and policy strategies alone are not enough to achieve the long-term transformational change we believe the times require.”
Policy Differences on Immigration
Meanwhile, the 2020 presidential election pitted two vastly different views of immigration in front of the nation.
Many of the best examples of immigration reform are actually already in motion. Some of the newest and most conservative laws governing immigration include the “Secure Communities” program, which targets local governments for the incarceration of illegal aliens; the REAL ID Act, which requires drivers’ licenses to be valid for the state where the license holder resides; and the Border Security and Illegal Immigration Enforcement (“Secure Borders”) bill.
Meanwhile, the DREAM Act, if maintained, allows “Dreamers” to obtain permanent residency status, work permits, and eventually citizenship through lawful means.
The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, known as the DREAM Act, is a legislative proposal to grant temporary conditional residency, with the right to work, to qualifying immigrants who entered the United States as minors—and, if they later satisfy further qualifications, they would attain permanent residency.
The act has been a focal point of contention within the movement to overall immigration reform, with political posturing centered around how and when the act should remain in effect.
On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration rescinded the program, while pushing Congress to enact a replacement to the legislation prior to the elimination of DACA protections. The Dream Act of 2017 was introduced on July 20, 2017, by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY). With the potential to provide a direct process for gaining U.S. citizenship, this bipartisan act has been both championed and scrutinized, but again failed to pass.
The 2017 version of the Act would adapt the current law in several ways. it would give DACA beneficiaries permanent resident status and TPS beneficiaries the opportunity to apply for this status. The pathway to U.S. citizenship would be first conditional permanent resident status for 8 years, apply for and receiving LPR status, spending 5 years in LPR status, and lastly applying for and receiving U.S. citizenship
According to fl-ilc.com, political circumstances impacting the DREAM Act will continue to evolve in 2021 and are worth watching. We also recommend that you Contact Florida Immigration Law Counsel to find out more about your legal options.