-- photo courtesy of NASW.com --

                                                              -- photo courtesy of NASW.com --

What is the DREAM Act and who is elligible?

According to the American Immigration Council (AIC), "the first version of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act was introduced in 2001. As a result, young undocumented immigrants have since been called Dreamers." The DREAM Act would create a three-step pathway toward citizenship for current, former, and future undocumented high school graduates or GED recipients. The three steps along the pathway to citizenship are 1) Conditional Permanent Residence, 2) Lawful Permanent Residence, and 3) Naturalization. To be eligible for each step of the DREAM Act pathway, individuals must meet requirements regarding: age of entry into the US, DACA status, a clean criminal record, level of education, and commitment to higher education, armed services, or sustained employment.

Has the DREAM Act been passed?

Up to date, various versions of the DREAM Act have been proposed, but none has become law. The AIC notes that bipartisan support has existed for each bill, some versions garnering 48 co-sponsors in the Senate and 152 in the House. To read the most recent proposal of the Act, click here

On June 15, 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would not deport certain undocumented youth who came to the United States as children. Under a directive from the DHS secretary, these youth may be granted a type of temporary permission to stay in the U.S. called “deferred action.” The Obama administration called this program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
— National Immigration Law Center (NILC)