(taken from National Immigration Law Center, DREAM Act: Summary )
The DREAM Act is bipartisan legislation that addresses the tragedy of young people who grew up in the United States and have graduated from our high schools, but whose future is circumscribed by our current immigration laws. Under current law, these young people generally derive their immigration status solely from their parents, and if their parents are undocumented or in immigration limbo, most have no mechanism to obtain legal residency, even if they have lived most of their lives here in the U.S. The DREAM Act would provide such a mechanism for those who are able to meet certain conditions.
The DREAM Act would enact two major changes in current law:
- Permit certain immigrant students who have grown up in the U.S. to apply for temporary legal status and to eventually obtain permanent status and become eligible for U.S. citizenship if they go to college or serve in the U.S. military; and
- eliminate a federal provision that penalizes states that provide in-state tuition without regard to immigration status.
If enacted, the DREAM Act would have a life-changing impact on the students who qualify, dramatically increasing their average future earnings—and consequently the amount of taxes they would pay—while significantly reducing criminal justice and social services costs to taxpayers.
NEW Resources from the Immigration Policy Center
NEW Overview from the Migration Policy Institute
Information from the National Immigration Law Center
UCC Info on Immigration and Public Education