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Does the SUCCEED Act Miss the Mark?

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on January 17, 2018

There are several notable shortcomings that make the SUCCEED Act inadequate compared to other potential legislation. While the Act aims to provide an opportunity for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S at a young age to gain citizenship, greater restrictions and fewer protections for Dreamers make this Act fall short.

Lengthy Process and Few Individuals Are Accepted

One of the main issues with the SUCCEED Act is that eligible applicants would be required to spend 10 years as conditional permanent residents, followed by another five years as lawful permanent residents prior to gaining citizenship. For the average 25-year-old Dreamer, citizenship would not be obtained until the immigrant is 40.

The SUCCEED Act also includes an age cap, restricting those who were over the age of 31 as of June 2012. Immigrants who are older and came to the country as young Dreamers would be unable to gain citizenship through the Act.

The Act Eliminates Due Process

Under the SUCCEED Act, a Dreamer applying for conditional permanent resident status would need to sign a waiver stating that if he or she is found to have committed a violation at any point during the citizenship process, the individual would be unable to receive any other type of relief outside of the U.N. Convention Against Torture. These immigrants could also experience expedited deportation without any chance of making a case in court before a judge.

The Act Could Separate Families

The SUCCEED Act also limits the ability of those with lawful permanent resident status to sponsor immediate family members for permanent resident status. This would cause the separation of families through a combination of detention and deportation.

New Restrictions for Legal Immigration

While the Act would result in a lack of due process rights for Dreamers, the bill would also place certain limitations on individuals visiting the U.S. temporarily. Specifically, the Act would restrict the issuance of temporary and nonimmigrant visas unless immigrants give up their right to appeal deportation or appear before a judge.

Ultimately, these setbacks make the SUCCEED Act a potential danger to many immigrants who wish to become either temporary or permanent citizens.