Congresswoman Ross Questions Secretary Mayorkas About Documented Dreamers in House Judiciary Committee

Secretary Mayorkas shares concerns about the uncertain futures of the children of long-term visa holders

July 26, 2023

In a House Judiciary Committee hearing today, Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02) asked Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about the urgent need to protect more than 250,000 young immigrants, commonly known as “Documented Dreamers.” The children of long-term visa holders, Documented Dreamers grow up in the United States, attend American schools, and graduate from American universities. Because of the decades-long visa backlog, these young adults are forced to self-deport at the age of 21 if they cannot find a new status.

Congresswoman Ross asked: “When I met with the Documented Dreamers, which I do quite frequently because they have learned how to petition the government for redress of their grievances, I am struck by the love of this country and their eagerness to contribute to all of our welfare. Their stories are some of the most compelling that I've heard during my time in Congress. Does your department have any plans to protect these deserving young adults who have done everything right, been here legally, and are losing their ability to live in this country through no fault of their own?”

Secretary Mayorkas responded: “Congresswoman, I share your concern for these individuals who have indeed contributed so much to this country and who know no other country but this one. I can assure you I will follow up with vigilance on the questions that you have posed and respond as promptly as possible.”

Earlier this year, Congresswoman Ross reintroduced the bipartisan, bicameral America’s CHILDREN Act with Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA), which includes age-out protections as well as a path to permanent residency for the children of long-term visa holders.