DREAMers could significantly benefit from the new immigration reform bill: The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act.
DREAMers have been waiting a decade for laws that help them achieve legal status in the U.S. They came to this country at a young age without having a choice on the matter but have been forced to deal with the consequences of being undocumented.
It is estimated that there are 2 million DREAMers, and they have become a strong collective voice. Because of their efforts, Deferred Action went into effect in August 2012; however, many DREAMers agreed that a two-year reprieve from deportation and a work authorization were not enough because it is not a long-term solution.
The new immigration reform bill, if passed, would offer a long-term solution. The bipartisan reform the Gang of 8 filed on Tuesday would put in place a fast-track path to citizenship. It would be unlike any other prior legislation.
The bill states that DREAMers are those who came to the U.S. when they were 15 or younger; they have been physically present in the Unites States since December 31, 2011; they’ve obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent; and they are looking to pursue a higher education or serve in the military.
After 5 years, DREAMers would become eligible for permanent residency and U.S. citizenship.
This is very different from previous DREAM Act bills, for there is no restriction for DREAMers who are over the age of 30, and there is no requirement of continuous residency.
DREAMers who have been deported would be allowed to apply for permanent residency if their deportation was not due to criminal charges. The bill also states that it would repeal the laws certain states have that ban undocumented immigrants from in-state tuition.
DREAMers would pay much less for their legalization processes than what other undocumented immigrants would have pay.
More on Immigration Reform:
- Immigration Reform 2013
- Gang of 8
- Earned Citizenship
- Streamlining Immigration
- Strengthening Border Security
- More Accountability for Employers Hiring Undocumented Immigrants