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April 14, 2006

DREAM Act is Included in Senate Judiciary Bill; Stand Alone House Bill Also Introduced

From the AILA PULSE, Advocacy Department;

Each year, children in the U.S. are prevented from pursuing their dreams of going to college because they have no legal immigration status. Despite the fact that many have grown up in the U.S., attended local schools, and demonstrated a sustained commitment to learn English and succeed in our educational system, our immigration laws provide no avenue for these students to legalize their status. Many of these children were brought to the U.S. by their parents at an age when they were too young to understand the legality of their arrival, let alone take action to rectify it.

As we previously reported, bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate in November 2005 (the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act (S. 2075)) would offer students who meet the legislation's rigorous requirements an opportunity to apply for legal status. In an important development, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), the bill's primary sponsor, was successful in getting the DREAM Act attached to the comprehensive immigration reform bill that emerged from the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 27. And while the Senate was ultimately unable to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation before recessing for 2 weeks, the DREAM Act remained in the various compromise versions of the bill that were negotiated throughout last week..

Equally important, companion legislation has now been introduced in the House. The bipartisan American Dream Act (H.R. 5131) was introduced on April 6 by Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), together with 12 original cosponsors. The House bill is nearly identical to the Senate version, with several minor technical changes. The House bill is supported by the United We DREAM Coalition.

Posted by VisaLawyer at April 14, 2006 08:34 AM

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