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Dreamers Hopeful for Pathway to Citizenship

ORLANDO, Fla. — Central Florida’s undocumented students who are part of the “Dreamers” program could be closer than ever to a clear path to citizenship.

A sweeping proposal from President Joe Biden is one piece of a comprehensive immigration reform Congress will consider this week.

Brought to the U.S. as a child, Kevin Ortiz proudly graduated from the University of Central Florida as part of the country’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Dreamers program that allowed him to go to college and begin a successful career in banking.

But without clear options or a path to citizenship, Ortiz joins an estimated 800,000 Dreamers encouraged by the pathway now defined in Biden’s new plan.

“I really do think that the words, ‘here to stay,’ never meant, were never stronger,” Ortiz said.

Biden’s proposal grants DACA recipients immediate permanent residency, allowing them to apply for citizenship within three years.

It creates a process that for so many in limbo, like Ortiz since 2007, has seemed out of reach.