What You Should Know About the DREAM Act
The DREAM Act explained.
The DREAM Act (S. 1615) is a bipartisan act that gives undocumented students (such as high school valedictorians, varsity athletes, and class presidents) a way to obtain legal U.S. residency. Specifically, the Act allows certain immigrant students who have grown up in the U.S. to apply for conditional non-immigrant status and become eligible for citizenship after they have gone to college or served in the military. Recently, political rhetoric on immigrants has soured public understanding of the DREAM Act and what it looks to achieve. Here are some of the central aims of the DREAM Act explained in more detail.
1) It Rewards Success for a Limited Number of Immigrants
The DREAM Act does not offer relief for every immigrant student; rather, it is a limited solution. To qualify for DREAM Act benefits, students must fulfill several requirements including proving that they have good moral character, graduating from high school, receiving a GED, and attending college or joining the U.S military. These students are subject to other legal requirements before becoming a citizen. Even if they do gain citizenship, they are not allowed to sponsor distant family members in the future.
2) It Does Not Provide Amnesty for Criminals
Contrary to the damaging rhetoric that claims that the DREAM Act provides a safe harbor for dangerous criminals, the Act places strict rules on who is eligible for protection. Because the Act requires students to be of good moral character, anyone who has been convicted of a crime is not eligible for DREAM Act relief. Should an applicant use fake documents or attempt to lie when providing information, then they would face steep fines and possible prison time. Additionally, the application process requires that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers conduct background checks and verify all claims from the applicants before relief is awarded.
3) It Is Designed to Help the Community
At its core, the DREAM Act is designed to give high-performing students an opportunity to further their education and contribute to society and the economy. By giving students the tools to become teachers, doctors, military leaders, and other roles that contribute to the U.S., the Act looks to support high-achieving immigrant students and the general public as a whole.
These are some of the key points of the DREAM Act explained in more detail. Are you interested in more higher education news or looking for a consulting firm with experience with higher education institutions or medical centers? Then don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at McKnight Associates, Inc. We are ready to offer you hands-on human resources consulting for colleges, universities, medical centers, and organizations of all sizes.