Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives Deborah Ross (NC-02) and Ami Bera (CA-07) led House colleagues in a sending a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas recommending that DHS strengthen protections for children and young adults who have grown up in the United States as dependents of long-term work visa holders—a group known as the Documented Dreamers. Specifically, the letter recommends updating DACA criteria to include Documented Dreamers and adjusting the way USCIS determines an individual’s age when he or she files for adjustment of status in order to protect more Documented Dreamers from aging out of the system.

“Our nation benefits immensely from immigrants who come to work in fast-growing fields—in technology, medicine, engineering, and so many others,” said Congresswoman Ross. “The children of these workers, known as Documented Dreamers, grow up in the United States and are American in every way except on paper. I’m honored to lead this letter with Congressman Bera to protect Documented Dreamers from aging out and becoming vulnerable to deportation. We must ensure that these talented young people and their families are treated with dignity and respect.”

“Like communities across America, Sacramento County is home to H-1B and other long-term visa holders who are our neighbors, friends, educators, scientists, engineers, and doctors, and who contribute immensely to our country,” said Congressman Bera. “Yet, around 200,000 children of nonimmigrant visa holders, who know America as their only home, are at risk of having to ‘self-deport’ to a country that is not home and be separated from their families because of decades-long backlogs in the immigrant visa system. As a nation of immigrants, it is not who we are to turn our backs on those who call America home. That’s why I’m proud to join Representative Ross in leading House Members in calling on the Biden Administration to take action to provide protections for young people who have grown up in the United States as dependents of nonimmigrant visa holders.”

These recommendations would improve our immigration system and protect young people who maintained status as dependents of long-term visa holders.

Full text of the letter can be found here.