The DREAM Act, Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, an American legislative proposal, would grant conditional permanent resident status to the undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States or who were smuggled into the country at a very young age. To qualify, an undocumented youth must be a high school graduate with good moral character and must have crossed the border illegally or must have entered into America as a non-immigrant. DREAM Act would help the young undocumented immigrants who were brought up in the country and who seek to study and work in America and this legislation would help such young undocumented immigrants to become US citizens, through armed services or through education.
If the DREAM Act is passed, undocumented youth would be permitted to adjust their status to conditional lawful permanent resident status. However, to qualify, they must prove that they have been living in the United States for more than five years. Moreover, they must have been minors below age 16 when they were brought to the country. Conditional status would be valid for a six year period and during that period they would be permitted to work legally in the country, study or to join the military. Undocumented youth who receive conditional status would be permitted to apply for lawful permanent resident status after six years. But at the time of applying for Green Cards they must establish that they have completed their degrees or that they have served in the uniformed services. Nevertheless, federal education grants may not be granted to the DREAM Act students but they can apply for student loans if the states in which they live permit them to do so.
The Senate immigration reform bill would permit the DREAMers to apply for US citizenship sooner. This bill includes a pathway to US citizenship for the undocumented immigrants but the undocumented immigrants will have to wait for ten long years to apply for lawful status. But this does not apply to the DREAMers and the DREAMers can apply for lawful status more quickly and they just need to wait for five years to obtain lawful status. DREAMers would become eligible if they were below age 16 when they entered into America and if they had earned high school degrees or if they had served in the military.
This bill will also benefit the DREAMers who were deported from the country or who are inadmissible due to unlawful presence. However, this applies only to the DREAMers who were deported prior to 31st December 2011 and the deported DREAMers can apply for Registered Provisional Immigrant status and re-enter America, even if they do not have relatives in the country. According to the Senate immigration bill, all the DREAMers who were under age 16 when they were brought to the country will become eligible for lawful status and there is no upper age limit and the DREAMers need not pay the $500 penalty.
After the Senate immigration bill is implemented, DREAMers will first be permitted to apply for Registered Provisional Immigrant status and adjust their status and after five years they may apply for permanent resident status. Followed by they would be allowed to apply for naturalization and become citizens of the country, if they are eligible and if they have clean criminal records, after three years.