This bill text has not yet been received from the Government Printing Office.
[D, IL] Introduced on May 11, 2011
A bill to authorize the cancellation of removal and adjustment of status of certain alien students who are long-term United States residents and who entered the United States... Read More
This bill was introduced on May 11, 2011, in a previous session of Congress, but was not passed.
May 11, 2011
This bill text has not yet been received from the Government Printing Office.
We strongly support this bill that would provide undocumented students who were brought to the U.S. at a young age and meet certain requirements with an earned pathway to citizenship through completion of two years of higher education or military service.
SAALT strongly supports the DREAM Act which would provide young immigrants who have grown up in the United States an opportunity to pursue their higher education goals and obtain green cards. Specifically, the provisions of the DREAM Act would be available for the following young Americans in waiting who meet various requirements. They must have come to the U.S. before they turned 16, be under the age of 35, have lived in the U.S. for at least five years, graduated from high school or passed an equivalency exam, have "good moral character" and either attend college or enlist in the military for two years. The potential economic benefits of the DREAM Act’s passage are clear. A recent study by the UCLA’s North American and Integration Development Center estimated that the total earnings of DREAM Act beneficiaries as they become a part of the American workforce would be up to $3.6 trillion. In essence, the education, talents, and skills of these students would remain in the United States and help to make our workforce more competitive. Moreover, our country has already invested in the education and training of youth who would benefit from the DREAM Act and these students should not be denied the opportunity to give back. Yet, many youth who are committed to America’s future and have long called this country home instead face deportation to places that may not have seen since they were born. Yves, a 17-year-old student from Silver Spring, Maryland came to the United States as a one-year-old child with his parents. After his parents were deported to India and Bangladesh, he began living with relatives and caring for his cousin suffering from muscular dystrophy. He considers himself American, as he has never been back to visit India since coming to this country. He excelled in school and made plans to attend college but almost faced deportation due to his lack of status. Taha nearly faced being sent to Bangladesh right after graduating from high school with honors in Jersey City, New Jersey. His parents had brought him to the United States when he was only two years old. He became undocumented simply because his family’s immigration lawyer missed a filing date for their green card application. Hoping to attend college in New Jersey to study pre-med, he instead was almost returned to a country where he did not even speak the language. Zeenat is a student enrolled in a university in Los Angeles and aspires to be lawyer. She was merely six months old when she came to the United States with her parents from Pakistan. She does not have any immigration status which seriously impedes her ability to fulfill her career aspirations. While some of these students were able to get extraordinary administrative relief, such avenues are often denied for many others in this situation. SAALT also urges that, as the DREAM Act is being considered, the option of community service and vocational training be added as a pathway for eligible youth to attain permanent resident status. For many, higher education is simply out of reach due to financial barriers. In fact, between 20% to 50% of the South Asian population lives at less than 200% of the poverty level. The skills of some may best serve this country as part of the domestic civilian workforce through rather than military service. Given that the goals of this legislation are to reinvigorate the economy by using these youth’s talents in the most effective way and opening possibilities for them, we urge Congress to ensure that the avenue of community service and vocational training can be provided. The DREAM Act provides measurable benefits to the United States, embodies the spirit of promoting opportunity in this country, and has long enjoyed bipartisan support.
NAFSA Executive Director and CEO Marlene M. Johnson submitted testimony in support of the DREAM Act for the June 28, 2011 Senate Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee hearing. In her testimony she said, "We believe it is essential that our country establishes a path to legal immigration status for individuals who were brought to the United States as children. The DREAM Act will allow these young adults to become fully contributing members of society, a development that would do much to benefit families and communities across the United States." http://www.nafsa.org/resourcelibrary/default.aspx?id=27505
The DREAM Act would give thousands of young immigrants who have grown up in the United States an opportunity to pursue the American dream. The DREAM Act passed the House of Representatives last November during the lame duck session of the 111th Congress, but, while it had majority support in the Senate, that body did not produce the super-majority needed to overcome procedural hurdles. "The hearing focused on the individuals who would be affected by this important piece of legislation. These are honor roll students, aspiring doctors, teachers, and soldiers, and the next generation of entrepreneurs in America. The DREAM Act will provide this group with the opportunity to give back to the country they call home by helping to improve the U.S. economy, enhance our national security, and continue the education they started here as children," said Pelta. "We are currently in a lose-lose situation. The kids lose their dreams of success in America and we lose their talent, skill, and motivation," said Margaret Stock. "Instead of advancing to college or the military and giving back to the country that they love, these great young people live in fear of deportation." AILA has supported the DREAM Act since its first introduction in the 107th Congress. The legislation would help tens of thousands of undocumented young people who have spent their childhoods in America to obtain legal status by meeting certain criteria: They must have come to the U.S. before they turned 16, be under the age of 35, have lived in the U.S. for at least five years, graduated from high school or passed an equivalency exam, have "good moral character" and either attend college or enlist in the military for two years. http://www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?docid=36018
Supports (Source: http://capwiz.com/nea/issues/bills/)
Today the Development, Relief, Education of Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) was introduced in the Senate by Senator Durbin. The DREAM Act would allow undocumented students a path to citizenship if they complete 2 years of college or military service. Students would have to have arrived before the age of 16, been here for 5 consistent years, have no criminal history, and have a high school degree or GED. The DREAM Act has been introduced for the past 5 legislative sessions. In December of 2010, it passed the House and fell only 5 votes short of passing in the senate. Locally, One Michigan led a campaign for the DREAM Act. One Michigan is a undocumented youth led organization advocating for immigrant rights. While advocating for the DREAM Act, One Michigan held rallies, marches, and phone banks. Detroit Immigrant youth empowered by national DREAM Act advocates came out of the shadows and declared themselves, “Undocumented and Unafraid.” “We are excited that the DREAM Act was introduced but to put our complete faith in it would be to ignore the political reality. We are aware that, President Obama can use his executive power to provide immediate relief to Undocumented youth. If congress is really serious on taking on the issue we’ll be there to fully support it” states Jose Franco, lead organizer of One Michigan. http://1michigan.org/dreamintroduced/
The DREAM Act would amnesty certain illegal aliens under the pretense of providing educational opportunities for children. More specifically, it would authorize the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to cancel removal proceedings for certain illegal aliens and adjust their standing to conditional lawful permanent resident (LPR) status for six years if they lived in the United States for five continuous years before the bill’s enactment. Furthermore, they must: be 35 years old or younger; have been 15 years old or younger when they first entered the United States; meet the bill’s definition of “good moral character;” undergo a medical examination; not be inadmissible or deportable on certain criminal grounds including risk to national security; and have been admitted to a secondary school or institution of higher education, have a high school diploma, or have a GED in the United States. When the amnestied aliens complete their six years of conditional permanent resident status, they can then petition USCIS to have the conditions removed and become regular lawful permanent residents. The petition may be filed any time within the six months leading up to, or the two years following, the end of the six-year period. There is no numerical limit on how many illegal aliens may be granted amnesty and they cannot be counted against any existing immigration cap. To make matters worse, the legislation prevents an alien who simply files an amnesty application from being removed from the United States before the application is adjudicated completely. Finally, the Secretary of Homeland Security may at any time waive the “continuous presence” clause and may grant stays of removal for family unity and humanitarian purposes. Please see H.R.1842 for the Senate companion legislation.
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has introduced his latest version of the DREAM Act amnesty in the U.S. Senate. This comes on the heels of Obama’s immigration speech where the President called for a broader amnesty, but spent significant time specifically calling for passage of the DREAM Act. Congressman Howard Berman (D-CA) plans to introduce a House version. Durbin hopes to persuade some Republicans to change their votes in order to clear the 60-vote cloture threshold. In spite of the grand rhetoric from its proponents, the legislation is really a sweeping amnesty for a broad range of illegal aliens who meet certain minimal educational requirements. Amnesty recipients can then petition to bring in other relatives. When 24 million Americans are unemployed and underemployed, and middle-class families are unable to seek the higher education of their choice because they lack sufficient funds, we do not want a new amnesty that increases the competition for these scarce resources. Help us nip this in the bud. http://capwiz.com/caps/issues/alert/?alertid=46020546
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A bill to authorize the cancellation of removal and adjustment of status of certain alien students who are long-term United States residents and who entered the United States as children and for other purposes.