Congress and Democrat presidential administrations have been debating for more than a decade how to help so-called "Dreamers," named after the set of proposals called the DREAM Act that would help young adults who grew up in the U.S. after their parents entered the country illegally, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Tech companies, many of whose employees are caught up in the green-card backlog and have children aging out of the system, have also started lobbying Congress and the Biden administration for a fix, the Journal reported.
In a letter sent to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday, several companies including Google, Amazon, and Uber urged the government to find an administrative-policy fix.
"This uncertainty harms families and prevents our companies from attracting and retaining critical talent in the U.S.," the letter states.
Major companies say they need the administration to act to help them keep high-skilled parents who fear their children will be deported.
About 200,000 children face the prospect of "aging out" of the immigration system, Axios reported.
Many of the children came to the U.S. with parents on skilled worker visas, but lose dependent status when they turn 21, forcing them to scramble to find a temporary status or leave the country.
Tech companies note the U.S. does not produce enough American engineers and other high-skilled workers to meet their needs, exacerbating an already tight labor market, Axios observed.
The tech companies support bipartisan legislation, the America's Children Act, that would create a pathway to legal status for the children, but Congress has remained stalled on immigration issues, Axios reported.
Many Democrats balk at helping children of work-visa recipients without also extending a fix to those whose parents entered the U.S. illegally, according to the Journal. Republicans either oppose citizenship for Dreamers and children of work-visa recipients or see it as less pressing than measures to slow the historically high numbers of migrants crossing illegally at the southern border, the Journal noted.
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