Friday, October 6, 2017

New Dream Act introduced in Congress under the name SUCCEED Act

On September 25, 2017, U.S. Senator Tom Tillis, Republican of North Carolina, introduced in the Senate a bill entitled "Solution for Undocumented Children through Careers, Employment, Education, and Defending our Nation" Act. This bill is to be cited as the SUCCEED Act. SUCCEED ACT, S. 1852, 115th Cong. (2017). The bill aims to bestow Conditional Permanent Resident status to certain alien "long-term residents". The grating of this status would be done through a process known as Cancellation of Removal. Although Cancellation of Removal is a term used for a procedure invoked while in deportation in Immigration Court, this process will not necessarily take place while in deportation in Immigration Court.

The granting of this status will require the alien to show that:
  1. The alien has been physically present in the U.S. at least since June 15, 2012 
  2. The alien was younger than 16 years of age when he or she initially entered the U.S.
  3. The alien has no lawful status and was under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012
  4. If the alien is 18 years of age or older the alien must show that while in the U.S. he or she earned a high school diploma or GED, or has been admitted to a school of higher education, or has served or enlisted in the U.S. armed forces
  5. If the alien is 18 years he or she must be attending school
  6. the alien has been a person of good moral character
  7. the alien has paid any applicable taxes
  8. the alien has no serious criminal record
  9. and the alien has not been ordered deported from the U.S.
The requirements outlined above are basically the same requirements that were in effect in order for an alien to receive Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This means that most individuals that had received DACA in the past would be eligible to receive conditional permanent resident status under this act. The act authorizes the seeking of a waiver for individuals that may not qualify for reason of being convicted of minor crimes in the U.S.

The granting of status under this act is for an initial period of five years. The alien must remain employed, study as a full-time student, or complete military service. If the alien is convicted of a crime that would render him ineligible during the five-year period, the status would be terminated.

If the alien demonstrates continued eligibility, the conditional permanent resident status can be extended for another five years. Towards the end of this ten-year period, the alien can request to remove the conditions on residence and become a legal permanent resident without conditions. As any other legal permanent resident, the aliens then would be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship after five years as legal permanent resident.

One major disadvantage of the SUCCEED Act as it was introduced is that it removes the right of aliens that were admitted to the U.S. legally but then overstayed their visas from being able to apply legal permanent resident status if they marry a U.S. citizen or have a U.S. citizen son or daughter over 21 years old. The Act specifically states that aliens admitted with visas must waive their right to this process, among others. So while this act may grant status to millions of aliens, it potentially bars the ability to gain residence in the U.S. to millions of family members of U.S. citizens that presently have that right. 

No comments:

Post a Comment