This move, if accepted by the Biden Administration, is expected to end the risk of self-deportation to more than 2,00,000 children, an overwhelming majority of whom are Indian Americans.
The move by Indian American community leader Ajay Jain Bhutoria, the President’s Commission recommended that USCIS take several steps to address children ageing out of their eligibility to be included in their parent’s Green Card application and losing their legal status at the age of 21.
As of now, children of Green Card applicants who are ageing out as dependents on their parents’ applications cannot easily access other forms of legal immigration status to stay in the United States.
These young people risk losing their legal status and are currently ineligible for other forms of relief putting them at risk of self-deportation. They have no immediate path to a Green Card or citizenship and could lose their work authorisation.
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The commission recommended that USCIS should create a programme allowing young people who are ageing to move automatically to another nonimmigrant visa status, which allows them to live and work in the United States and file for Green Card applications.
It also recommended that USCIS should amend its regulations covering dependents of primary visa holders who have aged out of their parents’ applications to access the Employment Authorisation Document (EAD), allowing them to work in the United States.
A Green Card, known officially as a Permanent Resident Card, is a document issued to immigrants to the US as evidence that the bearer has been granted the privilege of residing permanently.