Wednesday, November 17, 2010


The word is that Hispanic Democrats in Congress are pressing for the passage of the DREAM Act during the lame duck session. The DREAM Act stands for "The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act." It would provide for a pathway for alien children who graduate from a U.S. high school to earn a way to eventual citizenship.

If the Act passes, then an undocumented alien who graduated from a U.S. high school, was brought to the U.S. as a minor, is of good moral character, has been present in the U.S. for five years before the passage of the Act, and who either enlists in the military or completes two years of higher eduction could earn conditional permanent residency.

The DREAM Act is meant to address the inequities that occur when a family brings a minor child into the United States, and raises the child here. Often, such children may not know the language of their home country. The only life they may know is here in the United States. Moreover, undocumented children now face a situation where they cannot qualify for various scholarships and financial aid. Thus, many are trapped in a life without further education.

The DREAM Act was offered as an amendment to a spending bill just before the October recess for the 2010 elections. However, the amendment never came to the floor. Whether the DREAM Act will have an opportunity to face a vote is an open question, since many Republicans will resist such major policy pushes in the waining days of the current Congress.

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