Houston, Texas – As the Senate wrangles with the DREAM Act, it is important to remember stories of immigrants who were given the chance to become U.S. citizens, immigration lawyers say. The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM) is part of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011 that focuses on border security and enforcement measures. The DREAM Act allows children who moved to the U.S. before 16 years old, and have been here for at least five years, to become legal citizens. They would have to graduate high school, have a clean criminal record, and go to college or enlist in the military for two years to be eligible.
There are some opponents to the reform bill that feel that young immigrants with misdemeanors could become citizens or take jobs away. “But what these people fail to realize is that there are many immigrants who want to contribute to the American society and will give every fiber of their body to give back,” said Houston immigration attorney Annie Banerjee.
Take Texas House of Representatives Ana Hernandez Luna. In the 1980s she was part of an amnesty program that Ronald Reagan initiated that allowed her to become a lawful permanent resident. From her upbringing in Reynosa, Mexico she moved to Pasadena, Texas with her family. They came on visitor’s visas originally, but after they expired, they “lived for years in the shadows” as many undocumented people do. Both of her parents worked, and inspired her to do something better with her life. At 18 years old, she was able to become a citizen and made her way through the University of Houston and the University of Texas law school.
“I think there are a lot of immigrants out there that are willing to work hard, know that there are sacrifices that need to be made, but need to be given an opportunity,” said Ana Hernandez Luna. “I am able to understand what a lot of these immigrants are going through because my family went through it.”
Both immigration lawyers and immigrants like Luna are concerned about more racial profiling and people living in the shadows. They believe that people should be given the chance to become a lawful citizen of the United States if their record has no criminal offenses, the person is willing to be a member of the workforce, and contribute to American society.
“To deny undocumented children who are being educated in the U.S. the right to survive and live properly in the U.S., is not only inhumane, it’s ultimately detrimental for America,” said Banerjee, who is also an immigrant.
The Law Offices of Annie Banerjee helps individuals, families, and businesses with all their immigration concerns. For more than 10 years she has helped clients achieve their immigration goals. She is known for individualized attention to her client’s needs and efficiently serving them with the best legal representation.
For more information:
Law Offices of A. Banerjee
131 Brooks Street Suite #300
Sugar Land, Texas 77478
Phone: (281) 242-9139
Fax: (281) 242-2058
2027 Sheridan Street
Houston, Texas 77030
Phone: (713) 793-6339
To learn more, visit https://www.visatous.com.