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DREAM Act Coming Up Again

March 24, 2009 - by Avelino Maestas

Latino students at the Purdue University Latino Cultural Center

It looks like Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) is going to reintroduce the DREAM Act early next week. It’s a controversial piece of legislation that would grant temporary residency for graduating high-school students who are immigrants and have not obtained legal permanent residency. To be eligible, students: had to enter the country as children; have been living in America for five years; and agree to attend college or enter military service. Students who comply would be granted a six-year temporary residency, which would be dependent on completion of a two-year degree and or military service. If they obtain the degree or fulfill the military service requirement, without violating other regulations, they would earn permanent residency.

Proponents of the bill argue current immigration law does not adequately address the problem of children who are living in America illegally, and that coupling permanent residency with college or military service ensures applicants are contributing to society.

Last year, the DREAM Act fell eight votes short of cloture in the Senate (see Donny’s detailed post for more). As with several other pieces of legislation in the 111th Congress, however, this time around the bill has a supporter in the White House. President Barack Obama helped to pass similar legislation while in the Illinois state legislature, and has voiced support for the federal legislation on the campaign trail.

Critics contend the legislation would spend federal money on undocumented immigrants at the expense of American citizens, and that the bill would encourage illegal immigration. They also argue that citizens and residents would be forced to compete with undocumented immigrants for spots in college and university classes.

The education factor is a big one — while the legislation does not appropriate funds for students, it would enable eligible immigrants to obtain in-state tuition rates at schools in some states. According to the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education, 65,000 undocumented immigrants in America graduate high school each year.

Of course, OpenCongress will have full text of the legislation as soon as it becomes available.

Image (used under a Creative Commons license) by Lumina Foundation.

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Comments

kimchee 07/20/2010 7:10pm
in reply to Anonymous Mar 27, 2009 10:19am

How could the Dream Act be made on US Citizens when if you have not paid for your legal papers like the other people whom come to the US the right way. There is other people in this US who have and had to pay to be a legal citizens to come into this country. For the other people who are on a list to come to the US with legal paper work and can’t do it until the our government gives them the say so. So what makes it so special to do that here in the US? It is not about growth it’s giving someone whom has not come into this legally nor paid for the legal papers to be a legal a US Citizen What makes it right for a illegal immigrant whom is not here legally, right to come to America and demand to be made a US Citizen and given amnesty? immigrants do it the right way.

Anonymous 03/27/2009 10:19am

In case anyone wants to block this anti-American bill, go ask a politician who supports it the following question on video:

http://24ahead.com/s/dream-act

Then, upload the video of their response to Youtube. If you can’t do that, organize a local group to go do it. If you can’t do that either, then at the least promote the formation of such a local group via local forums, blogs, etc.

kimchee 07/20/2010 7:25pm
in reply to Anonymous Apr 07, 2009 1:52pm

It is not about the kids, it’s about what happens after this is passed. The families will go on well fare, live off the government, for their medical bills which is pushed on to tax payers like me. Whom will not pay much in there taxes. Why and how is it ok to give these kids free amnesty and give a visa, social security card. If immigrants followed the rules like other people whom come here with the proper paper work this would not be so bad. But they don’t and the ones that do it the right it’s harder for them and takes longer to earn papers! How do you know these kids are not bad seeds?

kimchee 07/20/2010 7:41pm

IMMIGRANTS TAKE AWAY FROM AMERICANS. OTHER PEOPLE COME TO THIS COUNTRY AND PLAY BY THE RULES WHOM PAY FOR THEIR VISA’S AND LEGAL PAPERS TO BE LEGAL. WHY CAN’T IMMIGRANTS DO THAT? IF YOU GIVE IMMIGRANTS FREE AMNESTY, THEN DO IT FOR THE REST OF THE ONES WHOM ARE! WHY CHARGE WHEN YOU CAN GIVE IT AWAY FOR FREE TO ANY BODY!

Moderated Comment

Anonymous 04/07/2009 1:52pm

THE TRUE BE TOLD NO ONE CAME HERE THE RIGHT WAY TO START!!!! SOME CAME AND TOOK THE LAND AND START A COUNTRY AND SOME CAME BECAUSE THEY WHERE TAKEN HERE TO BE SLAVES AND SOME CAME BECAUSE !!!!!! BUT THEY ALL CAME WRONG TO START WITH!! ’’’’’’’’ MY GOD THIS BILL IS FOR KIDS!!!! THAT ARE DOING GOOD AND ARE TRYING TO HELP THE COUNTRY DO BETTER!!! THIS IS NOT FOR BAD KIDS!!!! SO WHY NOT SUPPORT IT!!!""""""""""

headupone 03/25/2009 1:25pm

hi all,
i think this act needs to focused on the growth of Americans first, and formost…to make sure US citizens are making it. this act wants to put illegals in the military, or college, i am 46yrs old struggling to complete a college degree, but also have been willing to get into law enforcement, or the likes, and can’t, due to age & academic discrimination, almost all don’t know that Australian’s military will take you up to age 55yrs old. US MILITARY to 35yrs, most city police depts, to 35yrs, with 60 college credits, and a hand full to 44yrs, my point I’m trying to make is we have a whole lot of people capable of filling these jobs in there older age, just as good or better than the younger people, and it would put a lot of people back to work, if these age limits were increased, the focus of the DREAM ACT was based on US CITIZENS, not illegals.
thanks

Moderated Comment

pmconnors 03/29/2009 6:04am

We may not win this one while there are too many soft border advocates in Congress. I understand military service, which is a sacrifice, but applying for an education is not service. No fast tracking for students or those who will probably be tagged to participate in the freshly minted “Give Act,” the so-called volunteers. Imagine the language of those amendments we cannot read. Our government is out of control…

Moderated Comment

triciaarr5 04/02/2009 5:45pm

Illegal immigrants BROKE THE LAW. What part of that doesn’t congress get? They steal our jobs, use free medical care and free education that THEY ARE NOT entitled to. All should be sent back and come here the right way OR NOT AT ALL. THink Americans first and quit bowing to people who broke the law and then want our country to change for them. Stop the sanction cities and give America back to people who who didn’t sneak in and steal identities, education, medical care, etc.

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