September 26, 2007, Dick Durbin announced that he is no longer trying to tack the DREAM Act onto an immigration bill due to supporting Republicans ended up switching sides because of public outrage. Hope fades for passage of to bill to aid young immigrants
The DREAM Act would allow illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. before the age of 16, and have lived here at least five years, to receive conditional legal status if they have graduated from high school and have a clean record. After six years, they could become permanent legal residents if they serve in the U.S. military for at least two years or complete at least two years of college. As with most green card holders, they could apply for citizenship after five years.
The non-partisan Migration Policy Institute estimates slightly more than 1 million high school graduates and children still in school could gain legal status under the legislation.
The bill is officially the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act.
Why the public outrage?This is why:?
In its original form, the Dream Act, (initially a provision in the omnibus immigration bill that imploded in the Senate in June) was a legislative monstrosity. It would have repealed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, which barred states from granting in-state tuition to illegal aliens unless they provide the same discount to all U.S. citizens. But California, New York, Texas and seven other states decided to violate federal law. Under the Dream Act, that would be no problem: It would retroactively repeal the 1996 law — so we could make believe it never existed. But that is just the beginning.
The Dream Act would also provide illegals with a generous new path to amnesty — provided that they unlawfully entered the country prior to age 16 and have been in the United States for at least five years. How's that for a nose-thumbing at law-abiding citizens and immigrants.
Beyond that, all an illegal alien needs to qualify for the amnesty is a high-school diploma or a GED earned in the United States. "If he can persuade an institution of higher education in the United States — any community college, technical school or college — to admit him, that will suffice," law professor Kris Kobach wrote in a recent Heritage Foundation paper. "Any illegal alien who meets these conditions (or can produce fraudulent papers indicating that he meets the conditions) gets immediate legal status in the form of a 'conditional' green card good for six years." In addition, an illegal who applies for the Dream Act amnesty could count his time under conditional green card status toward the five years needed for citizenship, and an illegal would be able to claim "retroactive benefits" to start the citizenship clock running the day the Dream Act is enacted. Taken together, these rules give illegal aliens a faster path to citizenship than lawfully present aliens.