WASHINGTON, D.C. – North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis along with Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced a new bill to address the legal uncertainty of undocumented youth brought to the United States as children.
The Solution for Undocumented Children through Careers Employment Education and Defending our nation (SUCCEED) Act opens a track for undocumented youth to qualify for conditional permanent residency (CPR).
If passed, applicants would have to follow one or three specific requirements to earn and maintain their status as adults: being gainfully employed, pursuing post-secondary or vocational education, or serving in the U.S. military.
“For years, Congress has tried but failed to provide legal certainty for undocumented children who were brought to the United States through no fault of their own,” said Senator Tillis. “The SUCCEED Act is a fair and compassionate solution that requires individuals to demonstrate they are productive and law-abiding members of their communities to earn legal status. This is a merit-based solution that should unite members of both parties, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the path forward.”
Among the eligibility requirement include:
• Arriving in the U.S. before the age of 16 and before June 15, 2012, the enactment date of DACA.
• Obtaining a high school diploma or equivalent, if 18 or older.
• Passing a rigorous criminal background check, which extends to information obtained from INTERPOL or the country of origin to screen for individuals with a criminal past or gang affiliation.
• Submitting biometric and biographic data to the Department of Homeland Security.
• Registering for the military selective service.
• Paying off any existing federal tax liabilities.
• Signing an acknowledgment that they will not be eligible for any form of relief or immigration benefit pursuant to the legislation if they are convicted of a crime while on CPR status.
According to a press release, the CPR status would be granted for five years and renewals would be approved for another five years if they commit to one of the three aforementioned pathways for 48 months and demonstrate good moral character.
If they fail to do so, commit a felony or a serious misdemeanor, or become a “public charge,” SUCCEED beneficiaries could lose their status.
Only after 10 years of holding CPR status would individuals become eligible to apply for Lawful Permanent Status (LPR) or a “green card,” with a five-year minimum wait before becoming eligible to apply for naturalization.
Senator Tillis’ office also mentions that the bill prevents SUCCEED beneficiaries’ parents from receiving benefits or “preferential treatment,” including undocumented children from petitioning their parents.