Posted by on December 01, 2010 in Blog
An estimated 65,000 undocumented children graduate from high school every year. Upon graduation, however, these students face an uncertain future as they are unable to pursue higher education or work legally in the United States because they have no legal immigration status. These are students who were brought to the United States as children and grew up in the United States. Many of them have spent almost their entire lives in the United States, and played no part in choosing their undocumented status.
The DREAM Act, introduced by Senators Durbin and Hatch and likely coming up for a vote soon, provides a pathway to status for students who were brought to the United States as children. The Act allows for undocumented students who have: (i) been physically present in the United States for at least five years, (ii) entered the United States before they were sixteen years of age, (iii) graduated from high school, and (iv) are of good moral character, to apply for what is referred to as “conditional permanent resident status.” This status is valid for six years and after two successful years of either college or honorable service in the military, those students could then petition to remove the conditions on their status and become lawful permanent residents.
The DREAM Act would also reduce the dropout rate of American high schools, as a pathway to status creates a definite incentive to remain in school. Additionally, a stronger and more educated populace can work to increase its standard of living, and thus allow larger portions of the population to invest in the United States economy. As a country, we would lose out by not providing the means for talented and motivated people to contribute financially.
Passage of the DREAM Act is an essential first step in the battle for comprehensive immigration reform, and a necessary measure that will help keep our country strong and allow others to pursue the American dream. Tell Congress to support the DREAM Act today by clicking here.
Watch Colin Powell make the case for the Dream Act: