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House passes new DREAM Act

On June 5, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed the most recent version of the DREAM Act, which would offer millions of young undocumented individuals in California and elsewhere a pathway to United States citizenship. The bill will now head to the Republican-led Senate, where it is expected to languish.

The DREAM and Promise Act of 2019 was approved by a vote of 237 to 187 with 230 Democrats voting in favor of the measure. Seven Republicans also crossed the aisle to support the proposal. If it was signed into law, the bill would let certain undocumented immigrants who were brought into the country as children obtain permanent US residency. The bill would also cover young people in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, those with Temporary Protected Status and Liberian immigrants shielded by the Deferred Enforced Departure program. To qualify for the DREAM Act program, immigrants must have been under 18 years of age when they entered the US, lived in the country for the past four years and earned a high school diploma or the equivalent. They must also have a clean criminal record and pass a background check.

While the Senate is unlikely to pass the bill, House Democrats hope their actions will demonstrate their commitment to the measure to American voters. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD, promised that Democrats will keep pushing the bill "until it is the law of the land." Since taking office in 2017, President Donald Trump has ramped up deportation efforts against undocumented immigrants and attempted to dismantle DACA.

Immigrants who want to obtain a US visa or apply for US citizenship could contact an attorney who is familiar with immigration law. After reviewing a client's case, a lawyer could explain all the legal options available, prepare all necessary documents and represent the client at all immigration hearings.

Source: CBS News, " House passes latest DREAM Act, hoping to place millions of immigrants on path to citizenship," Camilo Montoya-Galvez, June 5, 2019

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