Lawmakers have introduced an amendment to address “documented dreamers” and the backlog of immigration

Raleigh, North Carolina (WTVD) – For the past 14 years, Sashank Sabinini, a North Carolina senior, has lived in the United States.

Said Sabinini, standing in front of the Memorial Bell Tower on campus.

It wasn’t until high school when he was pursuing an internship that he understood his legal limitations.

“My parents told me I wasn’t like any other kid. I couldn’t apply for jobs. I didn’t have a Social Security number,” said Sabinini, who studies pre-biochemistry. Med path.

Born in India, as Fedora Castellino.

“I had a totally American childhood. I don’t remember what it was like not in America. I actually grew up really wanting to serve in the US military. I grew up training, shading people, talking to veterans. It was in high school when I realized that ROTC programs wouldn’t qualify for me even though I’m through and through America.It was hard to believe my future career had no side with the military or the military,” said Castellino, who eventually moved with her family to the United States when she was six They will eventually settle in Apex.

Both came to the United States on H-1B visas, as children of immigrants working in the country. This provides legal protection until they are 21 when they need to obtain a green card, a different visa status, or face self-report.

“Admission to medical school for international students is very difficult, so it is a very stark difference,” Sabinini said.

“We have to make sure we finish our education before we turn 21, otherwise it will be really difficult to switch to a student visa and try to continue our education in America,” said Castelino, a sophomore at the University of South Carolina. He studies neuroscience.

“They don’t have the protections that DACA Dreamers have because they weren’t included 10 years ago, because 10 years ago, we thought they would be able to get their papers so they could stay here,” noted Democratic Congresswoman Deborah Ross, who represents the 2nd District the state.

Due to the backlog of immigration, young people like Sabbineni and Castelino can get bogged down in the process, awaiting action from officials about their ability to remain in the country.

Ross is part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers looking to address this, supporting an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would prevent “aging” for those who have been in the United States for at least eight years, allowing them to stay until the card’s visa number is Green is available or they can get another status.

“We’ve invested in these kids for decades. We’ve paid for their education in public schools. Their parents pay taxes. They want to stay here. We have a shortage of skilled workers now. So why would we want to make them move to a country they don’t know how to compete with in the United States?” Ross said.

It’s a problem that has a special effect on the triangle.

“We have a lot of highly skilled workers who come to work at our universities or to work in[Research Triangle Park]and they bring their kids with them,” Ross said.

The lack of prestige can also lead to the separation of families such as the Castellino family.

“I have a little sister. She is 7 years old and she is a US citizen. We are trying to figure out the next steps if self-deportation is something we have to face. I practically raised my little sister and having to leave her behind is very difficult not only for my mental health but also for my mental health,” Castellino said. on my sister.” “And my whole family. Separation is really hard especially when I don’t know the country of my passport, the home of my nationality. I didn’t really live in it. I left when I was only three months old and lived in different countries after that which – that.”

Sabbineni is grateful that he no longer faces this uncertainty, after approving his family’s green card application earlier this year.

“I went berserk. I just remember in the library crying, I called my mom afterwards and we were crying together. It was just the happiest moment,” said Sabinini, continuing to defend the others who stayed in this place.

Live the Dream, an advocacy organization, estimates that there are more than 200,000 “documented dreamers” in the United States, who have lived in the country for an average of 12 years.

“I got an EMT two years ago, but was unable to work in an EMT. I wanted to give back to my community, but could not because I was not legally allowed to work. Once I got my green card, I was able to give back to my community by working as an EMT doctor I was able to do an internship this summer in research, and I can already follow my dreams of going to medical school,” Sabinini said.

Castellino added, “I am currently serving as a volunteer in the Richland County (South Carolina) Sheriff’s Office at the Citizens’ Academy. This is my way of serving. But in the future I really hope to serve as an officer in the Army.”

This amendment differs from the Children’s Act of America, a stand-alone legislation that would create a conditional pathway to citizenship based on certain residency and education requirements. Ross said efforts are underway to secure additional Republican support in the Senate on this bill.

“A lot of my friends and family ask me, ‘Why can’t you just apply for citizenship?'” Sabinini said. “And it’s really not that simple.” “To me, it looks like the kids either get really lucky and get a green card through their parents or have to self-report when they turn 21 due to the long backlog. It’s a case of luck, it’s in the air. The future is in the air. And there is now no linear path to citizenship.” for documented dreamers.”

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