The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act (S. 2075) is a United States bill that would provide a two step path to full citizenship to illegal aliens. The act was first introduced in 2003 and then reintroduced in 2005 by Democrat Senator Richard Durbin and Republican Senators Chuck Hagel and Richard Lugar. The bill would specifically deal with an estimated 65,000 illegal immigrant students which graduated from United States high schools each year. The bill failed to pass the Senate in September 2010. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has vowed to bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote during the lame duck session of December, 2010.
Qualifications of Act
Only illegal aliens that fill all of the following criteria are able to receive benefits from the DREAM Act:
- have lived in the United States for at least 5 years and were under the age of 16 at the time of entry;
- have graduated from high school or have been accepted to a college or institution of higher education;
- have good moral character;
- are not deportable on account of a criminal conviction, alien smuggling or document fraud.
Qualifications for Citizenship
Illegal aliens which fit the qualifications must do one of the following to obtain permanent citizenship:
- obtain a diploma from a junior college or trade school;
- complete at least two years of a bachelor's or graduate program;
- join the Armed Forces and if discharged, be honorably discharged; or
- perform part or full-time volunteer community service under the direction of the USA Freedom Corps or with an entity eligible to receive funds from the Combined Federal Campaign.
- or demonstrate both a compelling reason why they cannot meet the requirements, and exceptional and extremely unusual hardship if they were removed from the United States.
Act Would Allow Criminals Entry
Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama released a "DREAM Alert" in November 2010, revealing that at least one version of the legislation would allow qualified illegal immigrants up to the age of 35 to gain resident status, prevent the Department of Homeland Security from removing any illegal who has a pending application – regardless of age or criminal record – and offers amnesty to qualified illegals with misdemeanor convictions, even DUIs.
The alert says that not only would the legislation put an estimated 2.1 million illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship, it would also give them access to in-state tuition rates at public universities, federal student loans, and federal work-study programs.
Illegals who gain citizenship under this legislation will have the legal right to petition for the entry of their family members, including their adult brothers and sisters and the parents who illegally brought or sent them to the U.S. It is estimated that provision alone would double or triple the initial 2.1 Million "Green Cards" that would be distributed under the act.