MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Congressman Carlos Curbelo introduced legislation that would provide a path to legal status for undocumented children and young adults brought into the U.S. illegally.
Curbelo (FL-26) says the Recognizing America’s Children (RAC) Act legislation would give these ‘Dreamers’ a chance to fully be part of the U.S. society.
“These are America’s children, and that is why I’m proud to lead this group of representatives from all over the country to introduce legislation to simply recognize them as such and provide them an earned path to legal status,” said Curbelo.
The bill would give them three pathways to become U.S. citizens – higher education, service in the armed forces, or work authorization.
After a 5-year conditional status, they would be able to reapply for a 5-year permanent status.
“Over the years many immigrant children have arrived in our country brought by their parents who either illegally crossed one of our borders or overstayed their visas,” Curbelo said. “For most of these young people, the United States is the only country they have ever called home. They attended school with our own children, graduated high school and today they are seeking to serve in our military, pursue a college degree or certificate and contribute to our economy by working,” said Curbelo on the bill.
The introduction of the bill comes at a time when the Trump administration has threatened to pull funding for “sanctuary cities” – signing an order back in January saying any city that shielded undocumented immigrants from deportation could lose federal funds.
It’s a move that prompted Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez to undo the county’s sanctuary city status by holding detained illegal immigrants indefinitely for ICE. The mayor said, not following that policy would have meant a cut of $355 million in federal funds. The decision sparked protests throughout the county.
Earlier this month, a judge ruled that county holds of arrested immigrants for ICE is unconstitutional but the judge’s ruling against the county doesn’t mean the fight is over. The county had said the planned to appeal the decision.