EL PASO, Texas – The Texas Border Coalition today threw its support behind legislation authored by U.S. Sens. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. to grant permanent legal status to immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.
“Fulfillment of the promise of the DREAM Act of 2023 is essential to the ability of immigrant youth in the Texas border region to work, study, raise families and reach their full potential,” El Paso County Commissioner and TBC Chairman David Stout. “TBC urges Congress and President Biden to join together to enact this legislation.”
Under the measure, migrant children can earn permanent residence and eventually American citizenship if they meet the following criteria:
- Came to the U.S. as children and are without lawful status;
- Graduate from high school or obtain a GED;
- Pursue higher education, work lawfully for at least three years, or serve in the military;
- Pass security and law enforcement background checks and pay a reasonable application fee;
- Demonstrate proficiency in the English language and a knowledge of United States history; and
- Have not committed a felony or other serious crimes and do not pose a threat to our country.
Currently, thousands migrant children reside in the Texas border region. More than 800 DACA recipients are now serving in the U.S. armed forces.
Researchers at the conservative Cato Institute and liberal Center for American Progress estimate that ending the DACA program would reduce the size of the American economy by $433 billion over the next 10 years.
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About the Texas Border Coalition (TBC)
The Texas Border Coalition (TBC) is a collective voice of border mayors, county judges, economic development commissions focused on issues that affect 2.5 million people along the Texas-Mexico border region and economically disadvantaged counties from El Paso to Brownsville. TBC is working closely with the state and federal government to educate, advocate, and secure funding for transportation, immigration and border security, workforce development, economic development and health care. For more information, visit the coalition website at www.texasbordercoalition.org. Follow TBC on Facebook and Twitter [#TXBorderCoalition] to keep up to date on all of the latest news about the coalition and its activities.