They grew up here, went to school here, work here, pay taxes here, raise their own children here – let them become citizens. That’s the gist of the latest Dream Act, unveiled Tuesday (July 20) by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL). According to their one-page summary:
The Dream Act would allow these young people to earn lawful permanent residence and eventually American citizenship if they:
• Are longtime residents who came to the U.S. as children;
• Graduate from high school or obtain a GED;
• Pursue higher education, work lawfully for at least 3 years, or serve in the military;
• Pass security and law enforcement background checks and pay a reasonable application fee;
• Demonstrate proficiency in the English language and a knowledge of United States history; and
• Have not committed a felony or other serious crimes and do not pose a threat to our country.
The bill, a successor to about a dozen earlier Dream Acts introduced since 2001, details a path to legal residence and, eventually, citizenship for young people brought here by their parents years ago. Despite Trump saying last week that Congress should solve the problem of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients through legislation, his aides said he would oppose the Dream Act legislation.
DACA faces a legal challenge by a group of states led by Texas, with a threat to push ahead on that challenge on September 5, unless the president halts DACA. It’s not clear whether the administration would instruct the attorney general to defend DACA. Continue reading