Yesterday I reported that the Gang of Eight immigration bill would provide some deported immigrants with immediate family in the U.S. the opportunity to apply to return. Today, the Senate group released a 17-page summary of the bill that confirms the legislation will permit some parents and spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents to appy to come back. Similarly, DREAM Act eligible youth who were deported would also be permitted to apply to return.
The summary text reads:
“Individuals outside of the United States who were previously here before December 31, 2011 and were deported for non-criminal reasons can apply to re-enter the United States in RPI status if they are the spouse, of or parent of a child who is, United States citizen or lawful permanent resident; or are a childhood arrival who is eligible for the DREAM Act.”
Approximately 22 percent people deported under the Obama administration have children who are U.S. citizens, according to data obtained last year by Colorlines.com. Many families would have the opportunity to reunite if the provision becomes law. Most immigration reform advocates thought such a provision an impossibility and several Beltway advocates told me it will take a fight to keep the deportee return text of final legislation.
Homeland Security officials have said that nearly three-quarters of deported parents were removed because of criminal convictions. Those deportees will likely be barred from returning, though it’s not clear if parents, spouses and DREAMers deported for minor infractions like traffic violations will be allowed to apply to return.