By Frederik Stefani
The DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) legislation was first introduced in 2001 as a path to citizenship for young immigrants, brought to the US as children by their parents. Versions have been introduced in the years since, but never quite passed. During his tenure as president, Barack Obama signed Executive Order for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) to provide a citizenship path in lieu of legislation.
While congressmen play politics, they aren’t thinking about the people who came in the US as kids, with no say in the matter. Kids who study, work, and contribute to the US society. Instead of achieving citizenship, they are threatened with removal from the country.
The DREAM Act is surfacing again in the Senate where Senators Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin have introduced a piece of legislation which will allow these young immigrants to obtain permanent resident status in the US. The Senators’ bold action is great news for DREAMers and has sparked much discussion around the country.
MRC is following the development on this subject very carefully. We are skeptical that such legislation will successfully pass the Senate, however, we should be prepared. We will fight, along with other organizations, so this bill can see the light of law and help many earnest, young immigrants in the US.
MRC, as a member of New York Immigration Coalition, will help coordinate strategies that can contribute to the passage of the DREAM Act bill introduced in the Senate. Meanwhile, MRC is developing a plan to represent as many young immigrants as possible in obtaining legal status in the US. With a series of workshops, MRC staff can educate young immigrants on how to navigate in the requirements of immigration law. This is especially important for young immigrant who have complex situations. In all cases, MRC staff will be on their side until the end of the process.
A more detailed report on the legislation: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/20/trump-undocumented-immigrants-dream-act-congress
The actual text of the proposed legislation: https://www.durbin.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Dream%20Act%20of%202017%20section%20by%20section.pdf