If the 70 years of career-limiting backlog is not egregious enough, you want to learn about the fate of young legal immigrant children. Legal immigrant children are the ones who were born outside the United States and came to the United States on Dependent visas along with their immigrant parents. Just like their parents, they continue to do everything right by the book. We’d argue that many do very well in their early education. But, they face perils that will affect their higher education and career aspirations as soon as they graduate out of high school.
These children grew up in the United States. They spent 13-17 years of their childhood lives as United States residents, and yet are subject to an alphabet soup of visas and statuses just to get higher education, then get lucky to be picked for a work visa (H-1B lottery), and finally get into the same 70 years (if not worse) queue to get an employment-based green card. These young legal immigrants, who are already assimilated into the United States society, simply will lose their status once they reach the age of 21, and there is absolutely no safety net for them today. These children are now called, “Age Out Kids”.
This means that unless their families were wealthy to fund their children’s’ education or the children were lucky to get picked in the H-1B lottery, they are at a big risk of being forced to pack their bags, leave their families, and move to another country. A country that would be foreign to them and they will not know where to start with respect to their education, careers, or their dreams.
There are several possible ways that the United States government can help these young legal immigrant children. David Bier of the CATO Institute outlines them very well in his article here.
Many lawmakers today are supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for children of undocumented immigrants. They must also consider provisions that will provide some safety net for young legal immigrants too! If your family is in this situation, or you feel passionate about helping providing fairness for legal immigrant children, join us. Help us save the future and aspirations of these children. They are indeed the worst affected in the current immigration system.
Even if you cannot join us, contact your lawmakers today and make them aware about this egregious issue.
We have families who are coming forward, sharing their stories, and creating awareness about this issue. The video is one such story. If children can speak up and also contact their lawmakers, so can you.