We have seen a lot of legislations and executive orders being introduced in the past few weeks that are not so immigrant-friendly. Non-U.S. citizen are particularly worried about their future in this country. Among the concerned and confused are the 750,000 participants of the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
On January 12, 2017, the Senate and the House of Representatives separately introduced a bill called “Bar Removal of Immigrants Who Dream and Grow the Economy” or the “BRIDGE Act” [S. 128] (17021434) and [H.R. 496] (17021433). The BRIDGE Act authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to grant provisional protected presence for three (3) years. Provisional protected presence is granted if the alien—
(1) was born after June 15, 1981;
(2) entered the United States before attaining 16 years of age;
(3) continuously resided in the United States between June 15, 2007, and the date on which the alien files an application under this section;
(4) was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and on the date on which the alien files an application under this section;
(5) was unlawfully present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
(6) on the date on which the alien files an application for provisional protected presence—
- (A) is enrolled in school or in an education program assisting students in obtaining a regular high school diploma or its recognized equivalent under State law, or in passing a general educational development exam or other State-authorized exam;
- (B) has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school;
- (C) has obtained a general educational development certificate; or
- (D) is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
(7) has not been convicted of—
- (A) a felony;
- (B) a significant misdemeanor; or
- (C) three or more misdemeanors not occurring on the same date and not arising out of the same act, omission, or scheme of misconduct; and
(8) does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or a threat to public safety.
Provisional protected presence looks extremely similar to DACA (except for a few word changes). A person qualifies for DACA is he or she:
(1) Was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
(2) Came to the United States before reaching 16th birthday;
(3) Has continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
(4) Was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
(5) Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
(6) Is currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and;
(7) Has not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor,or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
If granted Provisional protected presence, the alien is not considered to be unlawfully present in the United States.