President Obama Test Drives the Dream Act

Image via The Daily Gotham

Image via The Daily Gotham

About 700,000 students in the U.S. look forward to deportation after high school graduation. But President Obama has provisionally allowed some of these students, who lack proper immigration papers, to stay. They would all qualify for the Dream Act, a bill that has been in congress since March of 2009.

If the Dream Act passes, students who arrived in the U.S. as illegal immigrants before the age of 16 will be offered conditional permanent residency and an opportunity at earning citizenship. Although the Department of Homeland Security has not changed its policy in light of the pending bill, they do feel that their resources are used on more pressing deportations. “Our time is better spent on someone who is here unlawfully and is committing crimes in the neighborhood,” said John Morton, the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in the New York Times.

Students who would benefit from the bill have organized increasingly vocal and frequent protests. Those in support of the bill have asked that student deportations be suspended until Congress votes on the bill. Although the Dream Act has bi-partisan support, many Republicans feel that the act could weaken overall immigration control.

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4 Responses to “President Obama Test Drives the Dream Act”

  1. Margaret says:

    @ Sam

    We have full coverage of the Dream Act, including history and eligibility. You can read about it here:

  2. Ellen says:

    This country has been built based on immigration, and like it or not many of the people streaming here are those predisposed to work, and work hard. Immigration policy is a difficult balancing act, but when it comes to the children of immigrants, legal or otherwise, who are willing to work and become educated–then I’d hope we would find a way to welcome them.

  3. sam says:

    The DREAM Act has been around for years (not since march 2009). Also undocumented youth need to graduate an U.S. high school, and stay in U.S. for consecutively 5 years in order to file “conditional” permanent residency. After that, in a six years periods, they need to finish college(without any financial aid and gov’t grants) or join the military.

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