First, White House officials meet with “dreamers” who risk being deported; Mostly Indian: The Tribune India


Washington, May 20

For the first time, White House officials have met with a cross-section of documented ‘dreamers’, mostly American Indians, giving a patient ear to their concerns about aging and indicating there could be positive steps so that they don’t have to leave the country where they have spent most of their lives.

The so-called documented dreamers, estimated to number around 250,000, grew up legally in the United States but face deportation at age 21.

“We look forward to seeing positive policy changes, both administrative and legislative, to end aging,” said Improve the Dream, a youth-led grassroots organization fighting for the cause of Documented Dreamers.

Earlier this week, a large Improving the Dream representative group met with Betsy Lawrence, Assistant Assistant to the President for Immigration, and Erika L. Moritsugu, Assistant Assistant to the President and a Hawaiian-Pacific Islander American.

Although these children have been coming to Washington DC for a few years, this is the first time senior White House officials have met them.

“I really appreciated meeting the White House officials who took the time to come and listen to our stories and who were ready to help us. I enjoyed meeting them and I would like to thank them for all that they have made to help us the first group in our situation to meet with White House officials in the White House, it was a surreal experience and one that I will not forget,” Sri Harini Kundu said.

Harini came to America when he was seven years old and since then has lived in three US states of Texas, New Jersey and currently North Carolina.

He will be 23 in September this year. “I am currently in an F1 student visa status and will have to self-expel upon completion of my studies. I am about to graduate in the fall of 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University North.

“For years, I felt like I was forgotten by the government. Because I was able to share my experiences of being a documented dreamer who got older and my family was separated, I finally I felt like I was being heard. The Biden administration seems to be very empathetic to the hardships that thousands of us face each year. I’m more confident that some of the injustices will soon be resolved,” Eti told PTI . Eti and her twin sister Eva, who are now 25, were brought to the United States when they were seven when their father started his doctorate.

When they were in college, their father’s employer sponsored their father and dependents for a green card. After getting past the stage of applying for their parents’ visa and green card, Eva and Eti moved from a temporary visa to a temporary visa.

Eva was lucky enough to find an employer to sponsor her for a work visa and is about to enter the back of the 150-year-old green card line, while Eti is on a student visa international to complete his doctorate and is currently in no line.

Chandana Karumanchi said that after years of feeling lonely and her situation spiraling out of control, speaking to these government officials about her experience was truly a moment to remember.

“Senior officials recognizing our problems as real and requiring an immediate response agreed with the idea that Documented Dreamers have a place in American society. It really made me feel like I belong here. “opportunity to actively participate in our democracy, senior White House officials also left me feeling that I and everyone who is part of Improve the Dream could make a difference in our situation,” she said. .

These children also attended a press conference organized by influential US congressional lawmakers.

“Attending the press conference yesterday and having the chance to speak about my testimony with Rep. Ross has allowed me to represent and fight for change, not just for myself but for the 200,000 documented dreamers who are fighting for pursue their dreams and careers with constant fear. It was an honor to be heard and now we must put our words into action,” said 18-year-old Fedora Castelino.

“I came to the United States with my parents when I was seven years old and always dreamed of serving in our country’s armed forces. Throughout high school, I pursued an engineering degree in the hope to one day join an ROTC program in college and have a future in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. However, that was not possible due to my limitations on an H-4 visa,” he said. -he declares.

“For the first time, more than 20 young immigrants from Improve The Dream visited the White House this week and met with senior immigration administrators to discuss the issue of aging and the backlog of green cards for immigrants. concerned young people,” said Dip Patel, founder of Improve. the dream.

“This week, they not only got to tell their stories to the executive office, but also to their legislators – the members of Congress who represent them. representatives from Indiana, Florida, Iowa and more,” he said.

More than 250,000 children and young adults live in the United States as dependents of long-term nonimmigrant visa holders (including H-1B, L-1, E-1, and E -2). These people grow up in the United States, attend American schools, and graduate from American universities. Because they have retained their legal status, Documented Dreamers are not eligible for protection under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or the accompanying work authorization.

Last July, several lawmakers introduced the bipartisan Child America Act in the House and Senate. If passed, the bill would put an end to aging for good and offer these young people a pathway to permanent residency.

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