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.

Bill Text


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.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


(a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2011'' or the ``DREAM Act of 2011''. (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents. Sec. 2. Definitions. Sec. 3. Conditional permanent resident status for certain long-term residents who entered the United States as children. Sec. 4. Terms of conditional permanent resident status. Sec. 5. Removal of conditional basis of permanent resident status. Sec. 6. Regulations. Sec. 7. Penalties for false statements. Sec. 8. Confidentiality of information. Sec. 9. Higher education assistance.


In this Act: (1) In general.--Except as otherwise specifically provided, a term used in this Act that is used in the immigration laws shall have the meaning given such term in the immigration laws. (2) Immigration laws.--The term ``immigration laws'' has the meaning given such term in section 101(a)(17) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(17)). (3) Institution of higher education.--The term ``institution of higher education'' has the meaning given such term in section 102 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1002),...

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State: CA

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District: 1st

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Organizations Supporting

“Senator Durbin, Representative Berman, Representative Ros-Lehtinen, and the other members of Congress who cosponsored this legislation recognize that passing this bill cannot come quickly enough for the young men and women — and children — whom it affects. Every day, talented young people are caught in the immigration enforcement dragnet and deported. That’s why, a few weeks ago, several senators also sent a letter to President Obama urging him to use his executive authority to make deferred action available on a more systematic basis to DREAM-eligible individuals, and thus to provide these Americans-at-heart a more reliable means of avoiding being deported from the only country they know. “Last year, after a thrilling win in the House of Representatives, the DREAM Act, like so much other commonsense legislation that had been proposed, fell victim to partisan politics. The loss wasn’t felt only by the children affected by this legislation; it was felt by the entire Latino community, who watched the vote as it was broadcast live by the country’s two largest Spanish-language television networks. “Yesterday, during a major address on immigration, President Obama reaffirmed his support for this much-needed legislation. Unfortunately, the Department of Homeland Security continues to deport young DREAMers, even though they may be mere months away from having the opportunity to normalize their immigration status. While our greatest hope is that the DREAM Act becomes law, until then, we call on President Obama to use prosecutorial discretion to grant relief to these students. We cannot continue to lose these vital members of our communities. Our economy and society are suffering because of inaction.”


The American Civil Liberties Union today welcomed the reintroduction in the Senate of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, a bill that promotes fair access to higher education for all high school students, regardless of immigration status. The DREAM Act, reintroduced today by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and 31 co-sponsors, came close to passage in the previous Congress, passing in the House and falling just five votes short of the 60 required to move forward in the Senate. The DREAM Act is also expected to be introduced today in the House by Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) with bipartisan support. “Congress has a second chance to make the right choice where the last Congress failed and pass the DREAM Act, a bill that would help thousands of bright, talented students reach their full potential,” said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “The DREAM Act is a quintessentially American bill that will allow motivated young people to secure a better future for themselves and their families by contributing to the U.S. economy and American institutions, and we urge Congress to pass it.” The DREAM Act would provide affordable post-secondary education and military service opportunities for young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, have lived here for at least five years and have graduated from high school. The DREAM Act has the support of President Obama and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as countless other public officials, military and business leaders and educators. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has underscored the DREAM Act’s benefits for military recruitment. The reintroduced bill includes a critical provision that would restore states’ authority to determine students’ residency for purposes of higher education benefits, a provision that was removed from the bill voted on by the last Congress. “Passing the DREAM Act would be a watershed moment for immigrants’ rights in America that is long overdue and vitally necessary,” said Joanne Lin, ACLU Legislative Counsel. “The students who stand to benefit from this bill are talented, motivated young people who want to continue serving their communities and build a future in the U.S. It would be a tribute to American values of fairness and equal opportunity to give them the chance to match their capabilities with achievements that will help our nation grow. Congress must come together, regardless of party, to ensure that all students can access every educational and military opportunity they have rightly earned.”


The DREAM Act would allow undocumented youth who were brought to the United States before they were 15 to obtain "conditional nonimmigrant status," provided that they complete high school or get their GED, then either serve in the military, or enroll in college, for two years. Additionally, conditional nonimmigrants must be “of good moral character,” not have committed certain crimes, and pay back taxes. After 10 years of conditional status, they are eligible to apply for legal permanent resident status. The reintroduction of the DREAM Act comes just six months after it gained a majority in the Senate, but was defeated by a filibuster. At a Campus Progress event, Durbin assured his supporters that he would not give up fighting for the bill. The Leadership Conference and other civil rights organizations strongly support the passage of the DREAM Act, not only as a rational path to citizenship, but also as necessary to the continued success of the United States. “Our country needs and will benefit immensely from these young people and their talents and their drive to succeed,” said Clarissa Martínez De Castro, director of immigration and national campaigns at the National Council of La Raza. “From a moral, economic, and policy perspective, America cannot afford to lose another generation of young people who stand to contribute to its economic and social prosperity.”


The “DREAM Act” is a commonsense measure that will allow immigrant students who were raised in the U.S. and attend college or serve in the military to earn their legal immigration status. The legislation passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last year and received a bipartisan majority vote in the U.S. Senate, but that was not enough to overcome a filibuster by opponents. Following a call made by President Obama yesterday for Congress to act, these leaders have introduced a bill that is clearly necessary from an immigration perspective, as well as from an education, economic, and military-readiness standpoint. “This legislation will allow our nation to maintain competitiveness in the global economy by enabling students who have been raised here and who seek to be a part of a highly educated workforce the opportunity to pursue the American Dream,” said Clarissa Martínez De Castro, NCLR Director of Immigration and National Campaigns. “We continue to hear from many young people who are eager to give back to our country and who join us in calling on Congress to pass the ‘DREAM Act.’” One student whose story represents those with high hopes that the “DREAM Act” will be approved is Emilio, a young man who was brought to the U.S. by his parents when he was six years old: “I went through elementary, middle, and high school in North Carolina, and it is the only place that I call home. I graduated from high school in 2010 as one of the top ten students in my class, as an honor student, an AP scholar with hundreds of hours of community service, and I was awarded a full-ride scholarship to my first choice university. However, unless the broken immigration system is fixed, when I graduate from college in four years I won’t be able to use my college degree. My dream is to give back to my community.” There are many more potential beneficiaries of the “DREAM Act,” and like Emilio, they attend colleges and universities, and in some cases their extraordinary academic abilities lead them to enroll in graduate programs. Yet, they are never able to put their degrees to use for our nation’s benefit. Businesses, military leaders, and educators have long supported the “DREAM Act.” Our country has invested in the education of many of these individuals since kindergarten, and it is only proper to allow them to fully contribute through their merits and service. “Our country needs and will benefit immensely from these young people and their talents and their drive to succeed. From a moral, economic, and policy perspective, America cannot afford to lose another generation of young people who stand to contribute to its economic and social prosperity,” concluded Martínez De Castro.


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.

ONE Michigan 3 years ago

The day after President Obama delivered a speech on immigration in El Paso, Texas, the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act has been introduced with over thirty Senate co-sponsors. But less than a month ago, a group of senators nearly as large asked the president to use his discretionary power to stop the deportation of DREAM Act-eligible youth. In order to demonstrate a genuine commitment to principle over politics, the president must stop a policy which he yesterday called “cruel.” It was no small effort to get the bill where it is today, and the National Immigrant Youth Alliance remains optimistic about its passage. While we wait for Congress to act on the DREAM Act, we expect President Obama to take the appropriate measures to ensure that DREAM-eligible youth are not deported. Ola Kaso from Michigan, who came to the United States from Albania at the age of four, was denied political asylum after a lawyer filed the wrong paperwork. Although she was accepted to the pre-med program at the University of Michigan, she will have to beat her deportation order first. Another student, Elier Lara who also came to the US at age four and excelled in school, was recently detained on a high school trip. The honors student at the University of Cincinnati is now pursuing an advanced degree in Information Technology while fighting his deportation case. The president refuses to stop deportations like these, citing a need to follow the democratic process. Yet what has been asked of the executive branch is not to circumvent Congress, but rather to end zealous and excessive enforcement by the agencies under the immediate control of the president. We want the president and Congress to see the DREAM Act through, but if both Democrats and Republicans lack the political will to pass the DREAM Act then relief should be granted to those who deserve it. It is possible; it is within the purview of the executive branch reminded by a report on Executive Discretion issued by the Immigration which outlined the steps necessary to grant relief.

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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.


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.

NumbersUSA 2 years ago

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Bill Summary

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.

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