The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (the “DREAM Act”) fell five votes short of the necessary 60 votes for obtaining consideration on the Senate floor on Friday (Dec. 17th) bringing down the curtain on any further legislative action in 2010.
However, President Obama vowed that his administration would not give up on passing some form of legislation offering a path to citizenship for the children of illegal aliens who either secure a college education or enlist in military service.
Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, one of the DREAM Act’s senate sponsors, also reportedly vowed to fight for some kind of compromise package in the coming year, when Democrats will still have control of the senate by a slim majority.
Proponents of the DREAM Act say that this legislation would provide a means of retaining bright and productive residents while giving hope to young children of undocumented workers.
Under the DREAM Act, as currently constituted, beneficiaries would have to demonstrate:
- Proof of having arrived in the U.S. before age 16;
- Proof of residence in the U.S. for at least five consecutive years since their date of arrival;
- Proof that their age is between 12 and 35 years at the time of enactment;
- Proof of graduation from an American high school or attainment of a Graduate Equivalent Degree.
- Proof of “good moral character.”
If the DREAM Act is to have any hope of passage next year, it will likely need amending to garner support from conservative Democrats and some Republicans. Analysts have speculated that educational reforms for children of immigrants could be tied to increased border protection and control services, as well as enhanced enforcement measures.
If and when this new pathway to citizenship does become a reality, our office will be prepared to facilitate any related applications for conditional or permanent residency.
For more information about our immigration practice representing individuals and families seeking legal status, please visit the pertinent section of our Website or call our office at (847) 564-0712.