This bill — known as the Recognizing America’s Children (RAC) Act — would protect young unauthorized immigrants (including the so-called “Dreamers) from deportation and provide them with a five year “conditional permanent resident status” if they meet eligibility standards and either enlist in the military, are gainfully employed, or pursue higher education. It would also provide them with a path to become a lawful permanent resident (green-card holder) if they continue to satisfy those criteria.
To qualify, applicants would have to establish that they: 1) came to the U.S. before age 16 and have lived in the country since at least January 1, 2012; 2) pass a government background check and demonstrate “good moral character” with no felony or multiple misdemeanor convictions; 3) earn a high school diploma or an equivalent; and 4) either demonstrate an intent to join the U.S. military, be admitted to an institution of higher education, or have a valid work authorization. Applicants would also have to register with the Selective Service System, undergo a medical exam, submit biometric and biographic data, and complete security and law enforcement background checks.
The conditional permanent resident status could be extended for a second five year period if the applicant has done one of the following:
Enlisted in the military or an active-duty reserve component for at least three of the preceding five years;
Graduated from an institution of higher education;
Been employed for at least 48 months during the preceding five-year period.
Once conditional permanent resident status is extended, recipients could apply to become a lawful permanent resident (green-card holder) if they continue to meet the requirements established by this bill. If a recipient fails to meet those conditions their conditional status would be revoked. Recipients enlisted in the military could apply for naturalization (citizenship) immediately after obtaining lawful permanent resident status.