Path to Citizenship for DACA, TPS, and DED?
Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 sponsored by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA). While the law as drafted and passed by the lower house does not provide a direct path to U.S. citizenship for those people with DACA, Temporary Protection Status (TPS), and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), it does provide aliens with DACA, TPS, or DED the ability to apply for U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency or conditional U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency under certain circumstances.
Title I- Dream Act is aimed at those Dreamers who entered the U.S. before turning 18 and then continuously resided in the country. Under this Title, 4 years of continuous physical presence in the U.S. prior to the enactment of the Act is required and some grounds of inadmissibility along with educational related requirements apply. There is the possibility of a waiver on humanitarian/ public interest/ family unity grounds for inadmissibility.
Section 113 under this Title deals with removing the conditional basis to U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency. This can be done as long as the conditional permanent resident did not abandon U.S. residency and meets a degree/educational requirement or served the Uniformed Services for at least two years and was discharged in good-standing (if applicable), or has at least three years of earned income and at least 75% time with employment authorization (may be discounted for certain educational activities). There is a hardship waiver for the required activities (above) under certain circumstances. An alien in conditional permanent resident status cannot apply for naturalization while in this status.
Section 125 under this Title clarifies that these grants of U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency do not count against the annual quota. If the applicant for U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency under this Title seeks review within the 60 days of a provisional denial of the application in District Court, they shall be appointed counsel upon request (section 126). Section 127 under this Title goes on to list some of the documents necessary for demonstrating the applicant's eligibility including documents establishing the applicant's identity, the applicant's entry, continuous physical presence, and lack of abandonment of residence, etc.
Title 2- American Promise Act is aimed at those aliens with DED or TPS since January 1, 2017. In order to be eligible for U.S. Permanent Residency based on this Title, the alien would need to have been continuously physically present in the U.S. for at least 3 years before the enactment of the Act, would need to apply for U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency within 3 years of the enactment of the Act, and not be inadmissible under certain sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Section 223 under this Title indicates that those aliens with a pending application for U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency under this Title are eligible to apply for an Advance Parole (to travel) and shall be granted an Employment Authorization Document (to work).
Section 224 under this Title clarifies how continuous physical presence is determined and even includes a waiver of this requirement in the case of an alien who was ordered removed or deported from the U.S. on or after January 1, 2017 and is no longer physically present in the U.S. The waiver would permit the alien to still meet physical presence requirement in the case of family unity, humanitarian purposes or public interest grounds as long as the alien was continuously physically present in the U.S. for at least three years before leaving the U.S. However, this waiver is discretionary and the process for asking for the waiver would need to be set up after the enactment of the Act.
Section 227 under this Title, like Section 127 under the previous Title, lists the documents for establishing case related requirements (e.g., the alien's identity, continuous physical presence, etc.).
Section 230 under this Title also details the establishment of a Grant Program for non-profit organizations to assist eligible aliens.
This Act has been placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar.
***Please keep in mind that this blog posting is for educational purposes only (i.e., to give you general information and a general understanding of this immigration related matter); this blog posting does not provide specific legal advice and does not form an attorney-client relationship.***
Rebecca Carcagno Rodriguez The Law Offices of Rebecca Carcagno, PLLC 3830 Packard St, Suite 240 Ann Arbor, MI 48108