House Passes DREAM Act, Senate Passage Uncertain
The House of Representatives passed the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act on December 8, 2010. Analysts predict, however, that it may not move in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said that they hope to bring the bill to a vote by the end of the Congressional session. If it is not passed by then, prospects are dim for the near future.
The DREAM Act (summary), which has a long history, would allow qualified long-term U.S. residents up to the age of 29 who were brought into the U.S. without authorization or who became undocumented as a result of their parents’ actions to legalize their status. The DREAM Act also would require that they graduate from high school or obtain a GED and demonstrate good moral character. Qualifying children would be given a six-year conditional status. During that time, the applicant must have been attending college or serving in the military for at least two years, and must have passed criminal background checks.
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis issued a statement on December 8, 2010. Among other things, she predicted that the DREAM Act could reduce the deficit by $1.4 billion over the next 10 years, “through the increased tax revenues that individuals who attend college and earn legal status will generate as they become doctors, engineers, or otherwise realize their full potential.”