What is the Dream Act?

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (also called “The DREAM Act”) was a piece of proposed federal legislation in the United States that would provide certain immigrant students who graduate from an American High School, are of good moral character, arrived in the US as children, and have been in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill’s enactment, the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency. The students will obtain temporary residency for a lapse of six years. Within the six year period, a qualified student must attend college, and earn a two year degree, or serve in the military for two years in order to earn citizenship after the six years period. If student does not comply with either his/her college requirement or military service requirement, temporary residency will be taken away and student will be subjected to deportation.

Getting word that the Dream Act will be reintroduced shortly. The passage of this legislation never looked as promising as it does now. Please consider offering your support.

More information –

72 Thoughts to “Re-introduction of Dream Act”

  1. Lucky Duck

    Yes, Children of illegal immigrants CAN go to NOVA. And citizen students do lose those seats already. I’ve seen it with my own classes when I taught there. I’ve had undocumented students in my class. How do I know? It was a history class and they openly discussed that fact. So, do we compound the problem even more at all universities?

    And how come no defenders of the Dream Act have addressed the possibility that these new citizens may or can sponser their illegal parents or siblings? Doesn’t that expand the Dream Act to an amnesty act?

    Elena, I think we wait for Immigration reform instead of defining a “special class” of illegal immigrants. Congress tried this Dream Act twice and Sen. Feinstein attempted to carve out a special niche for migrant workers to become citizens under an agriculture bill. Lets make Congress vote on the entire act of immigration reform, all or nothing. Lets not create anymore “special exceptions”.

  2. A PW County Resident

    Elena :So, for all of you here that disagree with allowing children a future, what IS your plan? These children are here, many from a very young age.

    Not knowing how it works (but it obviously does), why doesn’t the individual apply as a foreign national like so many do and get a student visa to participate? Not trying to be argumentative just asking a question since I don’t know how foreign nationals apply and get accepted.

  3. A PW County Resident

    And by the way, at the risk of having you think I am calling you a red herring, I will tell you that an argument that we are “denying children a future” is a red herring. The issue is a matter of entitlement and rights to that entitlement, not whether someone is worthy for a future because they have been here from a young age.

  4. You Wish

    Moon-howler :Actually, I believe that children of illegal immigrants already can go to NOVA. Any verification of this?
    You Wish, Thank you for telling me how to behave on this blog. Please explain to me in detail why that expression offends you so much. This I have to hear.
    Seats are seats, by the way. What on earth are you talking about foreign students not taking seats from citizens? Of course they do. So do out of state students. In private school, it doesn’t matter.
    More later…

    Wait – let me take the silver spoon out of my mouth before I answer (just kidding). I’ve worked with high school kids for 11 years and can tell you, a majority of the students that want to go to college don’t have a ton of money waiting for them. Mumsie and Daddums aren’t waiting in the wings with a huge donation to the college of their choice so their kid can get in. They are kids that are paying their way through school and have fought to get good grades to get into colleges. They have come from backgrounds that are just as challenging as those that you describe – parents working 2 and 3 jobs, living with extended families.

    The comment about silver spoons made me upset because you are dividing kids into two factions – “home grown Americans” with a disposable income who should just have an education handed to them and those that are here illegally, who, against all odds, have become deserving students. That is hardly the case.

    And it is different at public schools, as Lucky Duck pointed out. State run schools have to accept a certain percentage of in-state and out-of-state students. Students who are here on foreign exchange count as out-of-state, which is the point I was trying to make but didn’t make it clearly. How do I know? Because the college I went to had foreign exchange students – they paid out of state tuition. If a student is here illegally and gets the same advantage as an in-state student in college, they ARE taking a spot away from my child or any other in-state child, period.

    No one is entitled to go to college – that is why there is an application process. It’s not federally mandated that all students who graduate high school go on to college. Colleges are getting more and more competitive – just ask any high school junior or sophomore who is frantically studying for the SAT’s, doing tons of hours of community service on top of studying for class, and working a part time job to save up money to pay for college. And the fact that someone who is here illegally (but their own choice or not) would strip that chance away from someone who is a citizen is wrong.

    And, what about children whose parents are here illegally but they were born US citizens? You do realize that the Dream Act affects those children, too? That it would be taking away their opportunity to attend the college of their choice?

  5. A PW County Resident

    “No one is entitled to go to college – that is why there is an application process.”

    That is an important statement. In this country, an education is guaranteed and free by use of tax dollars, for which most of us contribute, through a high school diploma. We have satisfied our guarantee for these young people, even those whose presence is questionable, unless their parents somehow have reimbursed PWC schools for the high school education. And that is highly doubtful. (this is in further reply to “disagree with allowing children a future,”)

    Any education beyond high school is discretionary. To take advantage of that, a student needs to work hard and either they or their parents or both have to pay considerable sums of money. To have slots taken away from these same kids, regardless of the type of spoon they were born with, violates my sense of fair play. Sorry.

  6. Moon-howler

    YW, You are being way too sensitive and apparently are not familiar with the expression I used. Because I said potential Dream Act kids were not born with a silver spoon in their mouth does not even imply that everyone else was. Certainly not every citizen kid has disposable income and I did not imply that they did.

    You just want to pick. I am curious to know how you handled your illegal immigrant high school kids. Did you show them the same degree of hostility I am seeing here?

    I don’t think any of us know the terms and conditions of the Dream Act. I think it is a wait and see approach. I just find it amusing that so many people here really want to slam the door shut on people. I really don’t see middle ground being discussed here.

  7. You Wish

    Is that what you were talking about?

    “The English language expression silver spoon is synonymous with wealth, especially inherited wealth; someone born into a wealthy family is said to have “been born with a silver spoon in his mouth”. As an adjective, “silver-spoon” describes someone who has a prosperous background or is of a well-to-do family environment.”

    I’m not trying to pick. As for your comment about how I “handled” students who are illegal immigrants – the school is not allowed to disclose who is and who isn’t a citizen. Remember? And I treat all the students the same and work with all students regardless of race, immigrant status and the like. Again – keep throwing stones. Your true character is showing.

    By not agreeing with you I’m hostile now? Because I don’t see how it is our obligation to go through with this as a country?

    Middle ground has been discussed. Twice in this thread, the idea that the students apply as foreign nationals has been brought up.

  8. Moon-howler

    Actually, you wish, I feel you are hostile because of other things you have said here and elsewhere and your general tone. You are free to think anything you choose about my character.


  9. Elena

    I agree, the real issue is comprehensive immigration reform. That will deal with all of this!

  10. Moon-howler

    I expect those who are opposed to certain things like sponsoring parents and family (mixed feelings on that one) will object just as much under a comprehensive immigration reform act as they do under the dream act.

    I feel very strongly about deserving students being given a chance for higher education. Some student is always bumping someone. Let’s face it, there will always be someone to beat anyone out. It’s the human spirit.

  11. Lucky Duck

    MH, we’ll have to agree to disagree. I am one who objects to sponsoring parents and family under the Dream Act, but won’t object to comprehensive immigration reform in total.

    I am demanding that Congress and the Federal government do their jobs. Have the courage to vote – one way or the other – on the total package to make it law or not. No backdoor amnesty or piece meal approach to get special exemptions for particular people one group by one group. That is the coward’s approach by our representatives.

    Step up and offer a comprehensive plan or idea like they are supposed to do and vote on it. That’s what I want to see settle it.

  12. Moon-howler

    Lucky Duck, I don’t necessarily want parents and family sponsored under the dream act. In fact, I don’t see why that even has to be part of it. I want it all about school and nothing else. I would also go so far as to say if you can’t afford it, then make other plans or get a scholarship. (I would say that to anyone however)

    I don’t know much about sponsoring people. From those I have talked to, it is granted very sparingly.

  13. A PW County Resident

    But it is not about school. Please read it again. It gives a choice to progress to some citizenship and the method is through school or military service. People want to make this about school to tear at your heart strings but read it again.

  14. Moon-howler

    Where is the full document? I doubt it will be passed as is anyway. It will probably be changed 100 times.

    Why on earth would I care that someone was given a chance at citizenship through school or military? As long as a person wants to become a good American, whatever that is, I welcome their citizenship.

    A PWC Resident, I beg to differ. It is all about school. Anything else is secondary. I truly see a lose/lose way of thinking on this. You join a gang, you are bad. You end up being ‘stupid,’ you are bad. You drop out of school, you are bad. You make good grades and do well in school and try to go to college, you are bad.

  15. A PW County Resident

    But my reading of the above doesn’t necessarily say that it furthers education — either the military service or the education are the means toward residency and citizenship. If the kid in question chose to go the military route, how is it about school?

    Am I really reading the story above wrong? Even reading the actually bill that was introduced in 2007, it is clear that it is an either/or between college and military so it isn’t about education.

  16. Moon-howler

    I haven’t read the actual bill. Has it been reintroduced? I just favor it in concept. Not line by line.

    I don’t understand your point, Resident. Why isn’t college about education? I consider the military educational also, I suppose.


  17. A PW County Resident

    It doesn’t provide them with college nor does it deny them college. It is a method for nationalizing someone. If they don’t go to college or join the military, then the temporary residency is revoked. I wonder if by granting residency, it also grants in-state tuition. I guess that would need to be determined in each state according to state law.

    Since this was to rectify the fact that some very bright and trustworthy kid was going to be sent out of the country because he had applied to college (I think that is what happened), it could have been more surgically done by addressing the problem and left off the “automatic” citizenship which would cause the debate. Simply put, as someone who spent a career drafting legislation, I can tell you that they could have merely granted temporary residency for anyone who was going to college or in the military.

    Then on a case by case basis, provide for some expedited citizenship proceeding. I would not oppose that at all for people who have served our country or who have by moral character demonstrated good citizenship by completing college. I think that would be a great system for even foreign nationals who come for college and do not owe their home country to come back (some people arrive here with the home country providing support so that they come back to help the country with an educated person.)

    I don’t know how some of the provisions can be complied with such as demonstrating that they are of good moral character. We are too often fooled by people who appear to have “good moral character” but later we find out don’t. And I am not speaking of immigrants but of all people. the law as introduce in 2007 doesn’t provide a framework for determining good moral character.

  18. Moon-howler

    Resident, I am growing weary. You are discussing some document I have not seen. Please provide a link to what you are talking about.

    I have known many a person who has graduated from college who has not demonstrated good moral character. I do not think that should be a standard.

    What I am talking about is allowing access to college for students who are illegal aliens because their parents brought them to the United Statesand who have exceeded expectations in school. What I am talking about is all about opening a door that is closed to them. Right now, other than NOVA, in Virginia, these students cannot attend college. They are not admitted. That is all I want to fix. I don’t want scholarships, grants, citizenship, or anything…just ACCESS.

  19. A PW County Resident

    But the Dream Act doesn’t do it. I can certainly post the link but it says the same thing as above.

    I am sorry that you are getting weary. There is no access ability for college mentioned above. Reread the highlighted box above and tell me where you see that it helps anyone get into college.

    You know, I also get weary.

    the link

  20. Moon-howler

    It is probably our age.

    So all these good things that are going to happen won’t happen if a student cannot get in college to start with.

    Thank you for the link. I think we are just going to have to agree to disagree. I am not sure I think this is the best bill. Will a new bill be introduced or will the old one be resurrected?

  21. A PW County Resident

    It will probably be reintroduced as is. Doesn’t mean it won’t be changed. I don’t disagree with a kid who can earn his way into college, be able to go without deportation, and if the kid finishes and would be an asset to our country, to be going through an expedited citizenship process. It helps our country to do that and helps the student as well. IMHO, legislating in broad terms can have some real unfortunate consequences. In the end, it has to come down to a case-by-case basis since broad brushes makes assumptions based on small samples.

    I really don’t think we are that far off — perhaps it is the same goal but not agreeing on the process, which is typically the problem.

  22. Moon-howler

    We probably aren’t and I do agree with you on the idea that legislation has unintended consequences. Look at all the detrimental rules and laws that have arisen out of the 26th amendment. Who would have ever thought that an amendment that simply gives 18 year olds the vote wouldl have so much hidden in it. Who would have thought that a few simply words would have practically redefined the family in less than 40 years.

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