Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02) led 22 of her House colleagues in urging Congressional leadership to include a permanent path to residency for Documented Dreamers in any upcoming budget reconciliation bill.

Over 200,000 children and young adults are living in the United States as dependents of long-term nonimmigrant visa holders (including H-1B, L-1, E-1, and E-2 workers). These individuals grow up in the United States, attend American schools, graduate from American universities, and contribute to the vibrancy and efficiency of our economy. However, when they reach age 21, they age out of their dependent visas and can be forced to self-deport. Because they have maintained legal status, Documented Dreamers are not eligible for protection under DACA or the work authorization that comes with it.

The letter read in part, “After turning 21, Documented Dreamers are forced to obtain their own nonimmigrant status if they want to remain in the United States. However, these options are limited and only temporary in nature. If they are unable to obtain their own nonimmigrant status, they must make the untenable choice of remaining here with their families without status or returning alone to their country of birth… There is strong bipartisan support for providing relief to Documented Dreamers, and we ask that you consider including all Dreamers—both those who came to this country without documentation as well as young people who have maintained status as dependents—in any upcoming reconciliation bill.”

Representatives Ross (NC-02), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), and Young Kim (CA-39) introduced America’s CHILDREN Act, bipartisan legislation that protects Documented Dreamers from aging out of the system when they turn 21 and provides a path to permanent residency. Budget reconciliation offers a unique opportunity to fix a piece of the nation’s broken immigration system that forces students who have lived in the United States for years to self-deport or to live in the country without status.

Congress has made important strides in advocating for a path to citizenship for Documented Dreamers. Specifically, the American Dream and Promise Act included a path to citizenship for this group.

This letter was co-led by Representative Ami Bera (CA-07) and signed by Representatives Joe Neguse (CO-02), Jake Auchincloss (MA-04), Jason Crow (CO-06), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), Grace Meng (NY-06), Kathy Manning (NC-06), Linda Sánchez (CA-38), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Alma Adams (NC-12), Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), Nikema Williams (GA-05), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), and Derek Kilmer (WA-06).

The full text of the letter can be found here.