The US House of Representatives passed significant immigration legislation for DREAMers and DACA recipients on March 18, 2021. This bill, called the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021, would allow many people brought to the US as children to apply for green cards (lawful permanent residency).
Beyond helping DREAMers and DACA recipients, the bill would provide relief to some individuals granted Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure. It would allow people from countries designated for TPS as of January 1, 2017 to apply for permanent residency so long as they were present in the US for at least three years and meet the other requirements. It would allow those eligible for Deferred Enforced Departure as of January 20, 2021, to also qualify for the same process. This date includes President Trump’s designation of DED for Venezuelans.
This bill is not a law unless it is passed by the Senate and signed by the President. But it provides another option for DACA recipients and other immigrants. It is expected that the coming weeks will bring increased debate on the pending immigration bills.
One of the main hurdles to passing immigration legislation this year will be the Senate. Democrats have 50 seats out of 100, which means that even to pass something on a straight party vote the vice president Kamala Harris must break the tie. However, many bills require 60 votes in the Senate, and so there has been significant discussion of modifying the Senate rules to allow more legislation to be passed. It is unclear whether Democrats will actually seek to change those rules.