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Potential pathway to stay for North Texas "dreamers" part of Biden's new immigration program

Biden's new immigration program opens pathway to stay for North Texas "dreamers"
Biden's new immigration program opens pathway to stay for North Texas "dreamers" 02:22

NORTH TEXAS — More than half a million immigrants in the U.S. could soon be on their way to citizenship thanks to a new plan unveiled Tuesday by the Biden administration.

The new rule would apply to noncitizens already living in the country who are married to U.S. citizens, and to recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, also known as DACA.

Tuesday's announcement coincides with DACA's 12-year anniversary.

DHS estimates this will affect about 500,000 non-U.S. citizen spouses and about 50,000 children of those spouses.

Additionally, the move will offer "dreamers," or recipients of DACA, a faster way to obtain work permits and protection to stay in the U.S.

"We introduced comprehensive immigration reform," said Tom Perez, a senior white house advisor to Mr. Biden. "We wouldn't need to be taking the action today if Congress acted on a bill that the president introduced on day one."

Juan Carlos Cerda from Fort Worth is a DACA recipient and the Texas director for the American Business Immigration Coalition.

"It's just really special and I hope we can have these protections and a path to citizenship one day," Cerda said.

He came to this country at 3 years old and made it a point to be in Washington for Biden's announcement.

"Obviously we need more," said Cerda. "We need Congress to act on bi-partisan immigration reform."

As of Sept. 2023, there were an estimated 90,030 active DACA recipients in the state of Texas according to a report from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; 29,070 of those are in the DFW area.

White House officials say they will roll out the new processes within the next two months, and they do anticipate legal challenges to this executive order at some point.

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