Washington, D.C. – Earlier this week, Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02) helped advance the House Judiciary Committee’s portion of the Build Back Better budget reconciliation package, which includes provisions to ensure a pathway to citizenship for Documented Dreamers that will support the U.S. economy and businesses. Specifically, the bill, which was reported by the Judiciary Committee on September 9, creates a pathway to permanent residency for Dreamers, including Documented Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients, and essential workers.

Documented Dreamers are Americans in every sense – they grow up here, go to school here, have families here, and contribute significantly to our economy,” said Congresswoman Ross. “It is unacceptable that we would allow them to age out of the system and be forced to self-deport to countries they may not even remember, resulting in a tremendous loss to the U.S. economy. I’m thrilled that the Judiciary Committee heeded my request to use budget reconciliation to ensure that these young people can contribute to our economy, pursue the American Dream, and continue their productive lives in the country they love and call home. I look forward to working with my colleagues to see that these important protections are included in the final budget reconciliation package and signed into law.”

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, known as Documented Dreamers, grow up in the United States, attend American schools, and graduate from American universities. Because they have maintained legal status, Documented Dreamers are not eligible for protection under DACA or the work authorization that comes with it. Providing a pathway to lawful permanent resident (LPR) status for Dreamers, including Documented Dreamers, TPS recipients, and essential workers is estimated to create more than 400,000 new jobs over 10 years. Immigrants paid $492.4 billion in state, local, and federal taxes in 2019. If undocumented immigrants gain legal status, state and local tax revenues will increase by $2.18 billion per year. 

In June, Representatives Ross, Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), and Young Kim (CA-39) introduced America’s CHILDREN Act, bipartisan legislation to protect Documented Dreamers from aging out of the system when they turn 21, forcing them to self-deport. Congresswoman Ross also led 22 of her House colleagues in urging Congressional leadership to include a permanent path to residency for Documented Dreamers in the budget reconciliation package.