- The Bridge Act, which effectively extends the present DACA program by 3 years.
- Recognizing America’s Children Act, which would allow people who meet DACA eligibility criteria to apply for conditional permanent residence with a path toward citizenship.
- The American Hope Act and updated DREAM Act, both of which propose broader eligibility criteria and faster pathways to citizenship.4
There is great hope that some definitive action can be employed by Congress, as most legislators on both sides of the aisle have expressed some support for at least one of the proposed policies (although that certainly does not guarantee sufficient votes to pass). There also is support from many Americans, given that most DACA recipients have been productive members of society, and most Americans believe that DACA recipients should not be held accountable “for the sins of their parents.”4
It appears that the dismantling of DACA would be quite unsettling and certainly would affect some areas of the country more severely than others. Regardless of political stance, everyone can agree that Congress needs to do something, as the ambiguity and uncertainty caused by a million undocumented immigrants living and working in the United States cannot be ignored or indefinitely deferred. Any of the above options that offer a pathway to citizenship would be welcomed by most Americans. Having Dreamers in limbo is bad for everyone; the time to act is now.
Dr. Scheurer is a hospitalist and chief quality officer at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She is physician editor of The Hospitalist. Email her at.