Washington, May 26
Running from pillar to post for the last several years, 'documented dreamers', a significantly large number of whom are Indian-Americans, are seeking an end to their uncertain future.
A group of these long-term visa holders known as documented dreamers made another round of the US Capitol – the temple of American democracy – knocking on the doors of one lawmaker after the other, seeking support for the recently introduced 'America's Children Act'.
The ‘dreamers' are basically undocumented immigrants who enter the United States as children with parents. They grew up legally in the US but risk deportation when they turn 21.
At a time when the US Congress is bitterly divided on political lines, these young dreamers, who are estimated to number 250,000, are looking for more support from congressmen and senators to make necessary legislative changes that give citizenship pathway to aged-out kids.
“It is time to permanently end the aging out and pass the America's Children Act,” Dip Patel, founder, Improve The Dream, said.
He is leading an unprecedented fight on behalf of the documented dreamers.
Of the 2,50,000 dreamers, 90 per cent are pursuing STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers, he said.
“In 2005, my parents immigrated to the United States to start a small business to give our family the best opportunity to succeed. We made America our home,” Patel told reporters at the Capitol.
“This country raised me, educated me, and has made me who I am today. After nearly two decades of living here lawfully, my parents and I have not yet received permanent resident status. This resonates with everyone standing with me today,” he said, adding that a loophole in the system is forcing young people brought here legally to leave the country after they turn 21.
Muhil Ravichandran, 24, who first came to the United States at the age of two, said she would now have to self-deport from the country that she had been calling home for almost two decades.
“This means having to leave my family because they have already received their green cards. It is heartbreaking that I have to spend every day in fear that I may have to leave my home, simply because I aged out,” she rued.
“Due to the Green Card backlog, I had aged out by the time my parents finally received their green cards. My future is now uncertain,” she added.
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