The Dream Act
This page holds important information regarding the DREAM Act including government documents, important press coverage, and links to advocacy groups.
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This page is divided into the following subtopics:
What is the DREAM Act?
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, more commonly referred to as the DREAM Act is a piece of proposed legislation that was introduced to the United States Senate, and the House of Representatives in March of 2009. Senator Durbin the Bill’s co-author says, the DREAM Act is “a narrowly tailored, bipartisan measure which would permit undocumented students to become permanent residents if they came here as children, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, and attend college or enlist in the military for at least two years.” The proposed bill will pave a path for undocumented individuals to earn legal status through a two step process.
Step one is to earn Conditional Resident Status, achieved by the following criteria:
1) The individual has been physically present in the United States for a period of at least five (5) years immediately preceding the enactment of this Act and had not reached the age of sixteen (16) at the time of initial entry to the U.S.
2) The individual has been a person of good moral character and free from any criminal activity.
3) The individual must be admitted to an American institution of higher learning, or has earned a high school diploma, or obtained a G.E.D. in the U.S.
4) The individual has never been under a final administrative or judicial order of exclusion, deportation, or removal unless the person:
(a) has remained in the U.S. under color of law after such order was issued; or
(b) received the order before reaching age 16
5) The alien had not yet reached age 35 on the date of the enactment of the Act.
Step two is applying for Permanent Resident Status. The criteria for this process are as follows:
1) The individual has demonstrated good moral character during the entire period that he/she has been a conditional permanent resident. Criminal, terrorist, or smuggling charges could make an individual ineligible for permanent residency.
2) The alien has not left the U.S. for more than a total of 365 days during CRS period.
3) The individual has either
a) acquired a degree from an institution of higher learning in the U.S.
b) has completed at least two (2) years in good standing in a bachelor’s degree program or higher degree in the U.S.
c) has served in the armed forces for at least two (2) years and, if discharged, was done so honorably.
DREAM Act Documents
- Bill to Grant Residency to DREAMer Students (H.R. 3823) (1-24-12)
- DREAM Act Hearing Webcast and Links to Statements (6-28-11)
- Senate Immigration Subcommittee Schedules DREAM Act Hearing For 6-28-11
- DREAM Act Text (Reintroduced by Democrats 11-30-10)
- DREAM Act Text (2009)
- Congressional Research Service: Immigration Legislation and the Issues in the 111th Congress
- Letter From Senators Durbin and Luggar Asking Secretary Napolitano To Grant Deferred Action To Those Eligible For DREAM Act
- DREAM Act Fact Check: Immigration Policy Center at the AIC
Advocacy Organizations & Resources
- Investing in the American dream: The DREAM act would allow undocumented youth to give back to America (12-02-10)
- The College Board Advocacy and Policy Center
- Immigration Policy Center: The DREAM Act 2010
- DREAM Act Fact Check
- DREAM Act Portal: “The largest community of undocumented youth in the United States”
- National DREAM Act Petition
Media and Press
- Senate Democrats Reintroduce DREAM Act (05-11-11)
- Senate Republicans Block DREAM Act (12-18-10)
- “DREAM Act Passes in the House, Heads to the Senate”-Huffington Post (12-09-10)
- “Top Democrat Says He’ll Set a Test-vote on Bill Legalizing Young Undocumented Immigrants” (11-30-10)
- Obama wants DREAM Act in lame duck
- Papers: The Movie trailer
- DREAM Act supporters Gather Outside Senator Durbin’s Office
- Obama Campaign: Debate Video 2008