DREAM or nightmare? Why Congress should reject a military-only version of the DREAM Act
First proposed in 2001 by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Richard Durbin (D-IL), the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act would allow certain undocumented noncitizens a chance to legalize their status by going to college or serving in the military. Since then it has been introduced regularly both as a stand-alone bill and as part of comprehensive immigration reform bills, drawing bipartisan support each time in both the House and Senate. The closest it has come to enactment was in 2010, when it passed the House but failed to get through the Senate.
Congress has watered down the DREAM Act over the last decade.The original 2001 version would have granted permanent resident status (green cards) to any undocumented child who had been in the United States for at least five years, as long as they had good moral character and were attending a college or university.
By contrast, the Senate’s 2011 version of the bill would require individuals to have entered the United States before they were 15; have graduated from a U.S. high school or received a GED from a U.S. institution;be under 35 on the date of enactment; and have lived in the United States for at least five years. Prior versions of the bill did not include an age cap. Similarly, the current version of the bill would require beneficiaries to stay in conditional resident status for six years before they could get permanent green cards. Early versions of the DREAM Act would have immediately granted green cards to individuals who met the bill’s requirements.
The current version would also make applicants subject to more grounds of inadmissibility, deportability, and other restrictions. Some want to water down the DREAM Act even more.Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich say they would support a DREAM Act — but only for young immigrants who join the military. Representative David Rivera (R-FL) has introduced a bill along similar lines.
Problems with a military-only DREAM Act range from the practical to the philosophical.
Read the full story at Nation of Immigrators