The California senator and presidential candidate’s plan would see executive action expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and relax green card rules for those who are in the US illegally. Harris’ proposal would also open a path to citizenship for so-called Dreamers.
Harris says she will reinstate DACA. She also wants to expand it — raise age at time of entry to under 17, increasing two-year term of protection to three years, and more.
She also wants to expand the program to parents of American citizens and legal permanent residence, provided they’ve passed a background check. Other “law-abiding immigrants with ties to their communities” will also be allowed to apply.
President Obama tried to expand DACA to parents, too (DAPA) but two dozen states sued to prevent its implementation, arguing the policy violated the Administrative Procedure Act. Harris’s fact sheet says explicitly that her program “will conform to the requirements of the (APA).”
Harris’s also aims to remove barriers to green cards. Says she’ll use Parole-in-Place plan (now allows families of service members to remain in US) to do same for Dreamers with spouse who is citizen. Allows them to get proof of lawful entry, requirement for status adjustment.
Says she will also issue rule that classifies being brought to the U.S. as a child as a reason for unlawful immigration status that is “no fault of (that person’s) own.” If a Dreamer hasn’t maintained lawful status, can be prevented from adjusting. This removes potential bar.
As things stand, Dreamers who leave country, apply for green card from consulate broad, can be subject to 3/10-year bans from US as punishment for living in US in unlawful status. Dir. of Homeland Security can waive those bans in cases of “extreme hardship.”
Harris says she’ll direct her director of Homeland Security to consider separation from a close family member “extreme hardship.”