U.S. Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-21) is cosponsoring H.R. 3440, the DREAM Act of 2017, legislation allowing certain immigrant youth who reside in the United States to earn lawful permanent residence and American citizenship.
“These young people, known as Dreamers, make significant contributions to our communities each and every day,” said Congressman Valadao. “These individuals were brought to the United States through no fault of their own, and have lived with the uncertainty about their future for far too long.” He continued, “By passing legislation such as the DREAM Act or the RAC Act, Congress can provide a legislative solution so these individuals may continue to live in America – the only home they know.”
The DREAM Act will allow young people to earn lawful permanent residence, and eventually American citizenship, if they:
- Are longtime residents who came to the U.S. as children;
- 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.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program provides temporary protection from removal and work authorization to young students and veterans who grew up in the United States if they register with the federal government, pay a fee, and pass a criminal background check. More than 47,000 individuals impacted by the program reside in the four counties Congressman Valadao represents.
Since being elected to Congress, Congressman Valadao has remained dedicated to repairing the broken immigration system of the United States. His personal connection to immigration, combined with the serious impact policy change will have on his constituents, have provided Valadao with a deep understanding of the issue, especially as it relates to agriculture and our guest worker program.
In 2013, Valadao was one of only three Republicans to support an immigration reform package, H.R. 15; the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. In 2015, he voted against a defense bill amendment which sought to block undocumented youth from serving in the military. Most recently, Valadao cosponsored H.R. 496, the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act and H.R. 1468, the Recognizing America’s Children (RAC) Act which provides a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.