A documented Indian-American dreamer told lawmakers that he would be forced to leave the U.S. because he had spent his entire life in his eight-month term in eight months without significant legislative reform in the immigration system. the subject of older children.
Dreamers are basically undocumented immigrants who enter the U.S. with their parents as children. There are nearly 11 million undocumented migrants, including more than 500,000 in India, according to a policy document released by the Biden campaign in November 2020.
“Without any changes in eight months, I will have to leave not only my 20-year-old home, but also my mother, my only family,” said Athulya Rajakumar, a 23-year-old graduate of the University of Texas. He told members of the Senate Justice Committee on Immigration, Citizenship and Border Security in Austin, Moody College of Communication, on Tuesday.
Speaking to the subcommittee in a hearing on “Removing Barriers to Legal Migration,” the Native American told senators that more than 5,000 documented dreamers face it every year.
“Erin, a nursing graduate, was forced to self-deport in the middle of a pandemic last summer, … a data analyst student was forced to self-deport two months ago. , he said.
Washington State journalist Rajakumar shared the story of her family’s struggle over the years of the limbo immigration, which contributed to her brother’s tragic death.
“I am outraged by this broken system that you, your brothers and thousands of documented dreamers have had to deal with. We have scheduled this hearing today because we cannot accept the inaction of Congress to continue to cause this suffering,” said Senator Alex Padilla. in his notes.
Alex Padilla is the President of the Senate Judiciary for Immigration, Citizenship and Border Security. Barriers to legal migration have separated families across international borders over the years, he said.
“The arbitrary statute of limitations that forces employers to expand their businesses and not stop the US economy, the arbitrary status quo that forces children, visa holders to leave the only country they know when their parents get older. need, ”Mr. Padilla said.
According to the senator, there is currently a delay of 1.4 million people eligible for employment-based visas.
“Employment-based visas allow participating immigrants to bring extraordinary skills to our workers, start new businesses, create new jobs in rural areas and help address the shortage of workers in the healthcare industries,” he said.
“But only 140,000 of these people can get a visa each year. The total number of spouses and children that go with them is much less than 70,000 visas for eligible workers. Hundreds of thousands more remain in limbo, limited by a limit. Temporary visa, or it takes them away from their dreams and prevents them from realizing their potential, ”he said.
Ranking Sen. John Cornyn said the Congressional Research Service recently estimated that with no major changes, the job-based green card delay could be more than $ 2 billion by 2030.
Employment-based visas, also known as green cards, allow migrants to legally obtain permanent residency in the U.S. for skilled work.
“Indian citizens have been particularly hard hit because the limits of each country in our system do not allow them to receive more than seven per cent of employment-based visas each year,” he said.
“To make matters worse, due in part to the processing efficiencies attributed to the USCIS paper-based system and the closure of many of our consulates, we are not issuing 92,000 employment-based visas during the pandemic,” he said. he said.
Ms. Rajakumar told lawmakers she had received a full-time offer from a large Houston news corporation, one of the top 10 markets, but saw the potential when the company itself withdrew the offer when they learned of the status of its visa. “But the worst part, being a foreigner, being an outsider in the only place you can call home is another kind of pain,” he said.
Dip Patel, president of Improve The Dream, said in a statement that the shocking testimony of Ms. Rajakumar shows that there is an urgent need to update the broken system, including the need to put an end to the problem of aging children raised and educated in the United States. .
“For thousands of young people who are growing up with uncertainty, there is a constant concern about our future in what we consider our home. we urge them to consider and act swiftly to pass immigration reform, “he said.
During the hearing, Mr. Padilla asked Ms. Rajakumar about her experience as a documented dreamer and how the path to citizenship and the enactment of the America’s Children Act would affect her life.
Ms. Rajakumar stated that this meant that she would not have to separate from her family and the country that has called her home for the past twenty years.
In November 2020, a policy document issued by the Biden Campaign stated that Biden would remove the uncertainty for dreamers by reinstating the DACA (Delayed Childhood Action) program and examining all legal options to protect their families from inhuman segregation. And, it will end workplace attacks and protect other sensitive locations from immigration enforcement actions.
The DACA is an immigration policy launched by the Obama administration that entitles some people with an illegal presence in the U.S. to receive a two-year renewable period of leave and work permit after being deported. In the US. DACA recipients are often referred to as dreamers. In order to be eligible for the program, recipients may not commit any felony or misdemeanor in their case.
The Trump administration was about to end the DACA program in 2017 and was eventually blocked this year by the Supreme Court. However, his administration reduced the program and pledged to end it, leaving thousands of beneficiaries of the program at a standstill.
According to FWD.US, undocumented immigrants are one of the largest groups of immigrant essential workers, with 5.2 million essential workers, nearly one million of whom were children in the U.S. as part of the 2019 American Dream and Promise Act.
The American Dream and Promise Act also provides agility to “legal dreamers”, including foreign-born children of many non-immigrant workers, including those in H-1B, and sadly lose their legal status when they turn 21 years old.
FWD.us is a two-party political organization that believes that American families, communities, and the economy are thriving when more people are able to reach their full potential. Too much time, the damaging U.S. immigration and criminal justice system has taken too many people away from the American dream.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a union feed.)