DREAM Act Approved by House, Awaits Vote by Senate
The DREAM Act may become a reality for hundreds of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants. If it passes completely, it will give legal residency to children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents and that have lived here for at least five years.
The DREAM Act, or The DREAM Act Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, was passed by the House Wednesday evening. Though half the battle may be won, the bill still has to be passed by the Senate. The Senate voted on the act last September, and it failed to get the required 60 votes.
Republican voters may not let it pass. Some conservative critics are calling the act a “backdoor grant of amnesty that would encourage more foreigners to sneak into the United States in hopes of being legalized eventually.”
The most current bill would allow immigrants under the age of 30, who have high school diplomas and have continually lived illegally in the U.S. for the last five years, to request conditional non-immigrant status.
Qualifying undocumented immigrants could then recieve permanent residency after ten years as a conditional non-immigrant by either serving two years in the military or spending two years in a four-year college or university. They would also have to prove that they arrived in the U.S. before they were 16 years old and that they have good moral character.
The Senate is to vote today, and the DREAM Act’s advocates are asking the voters for compassion.
“Have a little compassion,” Rep. Eliot Engel (D) of New York said to the opponents of the bill “These children came here; they didn’t decide to come here. They know no other country. Some of them don’t even know the language of the country in which they were born, and they deserve to have a right as free Americans.”
Where do you stand on the DREAM Act?
Via The Christian Science Monitor, image via Yahoo News