Following efforts by Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today implemented critical changes to protect some Documented Dreamers from aging out of the immigration system while they await green cards. Specifically, the new guidance from USCIS will allow children and young adults who are applying for green cards based on their parents’ applications to lock in their age earlier in the process by using the earlier “Dates for Filing” chart rather than the “Final Action Date” chart on the Visa Bulletin to calculate their age. In June of 2021, Congresswoman Ross led 35 of her colleagues in urging the agency to make this necessary change, among other reforms that would help Documented Dreamers stay in the United States.

“I am grateful that USCIS has taken action to protect some of the 200,000 Documented Dreamers who call the United States home,” said Congresswoman Ross. “This is an important step forward that will protect many individuals who contribute to our country and economy every single day, but we cannot stop here. We must pass my bipartisan America’s CHILDREN Act to provide a pathway to citizenship for these inspiring young people and finally give them the certainty they deserve. I will not stop fighting for a solution.”

In the 117th Congress, Congresswoman Ross led her House and Senate colleagues in efforts to protect Documented Dreamers. She introduced the bipartisan, bicameral America’s CHILDREN Act to provide a path to permanent residency to Documented Dreamers. Her amendment to prevent Documented Dreamers from aging out of the system passed the House of Representatives as part of the National Defense Authorization Act in July 2022.

More information about the new guidance from USCIS is available here.