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Brenda Hyatt, Chief Editor/Featured Columnist
Parts of this article was first published November 2010
Washington, DC (Mar 2017) – Senate bill S3827, Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, the DREAM act. The bill was introduced in 2009 did not pass but is being considered again. If passed undocumented immigrant children, who grew up in United States, can apply for temporary legal citizenship by attending college, or serve in the United States Military.
This bipartisan legislation was introduced in 2009 and several versions of the bill is being considered, however, when the bill is enacted those who qualify must have arrived into the United States prior to the age of 16, graduated from an American high school, and if approved, would be given a six year temporary residency. They would be allowed to apply for federal student loans but not Pell Grants. No one convicted of a crime would be eligible.
Those applying must be between the ages of 12 and 35, and if approved, complete two years of college or two years in the military during the six year allotted time, or return to undocumented status and be subject to deportation. If approved for permanent status, they could sponsor family members for permanent Residency.
Students eligible to apply are estimated at 65,000. These children have lived in the United States most of their lives as illegal immigrants. The DREAM act would allow them to be recognized as “Americans”.
Those who oppose the DREAM act see this as rewarding illegal immigration and encourage more illegal immigration. However, to qualify for the DREAM act, a student must have entered the United States before the age of 16, and lived here for at least five years before the date of enactment. Therefore, new illegal immigrants would not qualify.
Military recruiters and some University Presidents support legal status for these youths educated in the United States. Those who are opposed say detain and deport. The DREAM act is amnesty for those that refuse to use the legal pathway, which they do not deserve, enabling them to sponsor their parents for citizenship who originated this scam.