The dream is back…
A few days ago, legislators in Washington reintroduced the well-known “Dream Act”. This law could give the nearly 2 million undocumented people who came to the United States as children a safer path to US citizenship.
Within this group of people there are some who have benefited from the DACA program but who still cannot obtain their papers. Even though DACA protects you from being deported, it does not provide a direct path to citizenship and is currently in a court case that can end this program completely.
Because of this, the return of the “Dream Act” gives a sense of relief and hope to all who yearn to finally live legally in the United States, because if approved, it would change all the limitations that are currently in place with DACA.
Even so, many are cautious about what could happen because even though there is a lot of optimism, for a great majority of people it is not the first time that they have introduced the law and it has not been successful. There are cases that have been waiting for more than 20 years since the first time the law was introduced.
The plan for the law to be approved is being sponsored by legislators Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham and this marks the beginning of a new push from the current Congress that took office on January 3rd and is the first effort that will be carried out in a bipartisan manner.
To be approved, this plan requires an initial 60 votes before going to the House of Representatives, where it needs 218 votes. If the necessary votes are obtained and approved, the “Dream Act” would allow “dreamers” to obtain legal permanent residence and eventually citizenship if they meet the following requirements:
- They came to the United States as children and do not have legal status.
- Graduated from high school or earned a GED.
- They pursued higher education, worked legally for at least 3 years, or served in the military.
- Pass their criminal background checks and pay a reasonable application fee.
- Demonstrate proficiency in the English language and knowledge of United States history.
- Have not committed a serious crime and do not represent a great threat to the country.
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