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For hundreds of thousands of young legal immigrants, time is running out for self-deportation.
Dip Patel was born in India, but after a stopover in Canada, he arrived in the United States legally on his parents’ work visa when he was just nine years old.
National caps on some employment-based visas mean that when more than 200,000 – like Dip – turn 21, they age out of the system, have to queue for a green card or even quit the country.
“Something that most people are not aware of, that it is possible for an immigrant child to be brought here legally, to be raised and educated here, but still have no clear way to stay or path to citizenship,” Patel told Fox. New.
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Patel and others in his group, Improve the Dream, have worked for years trying to bring awareness to documented dreamers. Fox News first interviewed him in 2019. Defenders on both sides of the aisle are working to slow the clock down.
“We’re called documented dreamers. It’s to emphasize that we’re kids who grew up here, but we had some kind of documented legal status,” he said.
Iowa Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks was one of the first members to raise her hand to help 18 months ago.
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“We need these talented young people. Contrary to what is said about other people who come here illegally through no fault of their own, these young people are here with their parents,” she said.
Miller-Meeks helped craft what became America’s Children Act. It was passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act in the House earlier this year. The Senate will vote this fall.
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If passed and signed by President Biden, Patel and other documented dreamers will have breathing room, so they don’t lose their place in the long and growing green card line.
“It’s so important because we’re your friends, we’re your neighbors, we’re Americans and we love this country.”