As people living in Miami, Florida, and all around the country, eagerly await progress relating to policy reform, many are finding comfort in some of the provisions outlined in proposed legislation. For those that have advocated for such change to U.S. immigration law for years, the Senate’s immigration reform bill recognizes and supports proponents of the Dream Act like no other piece of legislation has in the past.
For undocumented immigrants that meet the requirements of the reform bill’s Dream Act, their path to legal residency could be expedited to five years. These immigrants, known as Dreamers, must have entered the country when they were 15-years-old or younger, must have their GED or high school diploma and must have lived in the U.S. since December 31, 2011. These requirements differ from those concerning most undocumented immigrants, who may seek permanent residency through a 13-year process if they meet a different set of rules.
Two other accommodations that the immigration reform bill would include are that certain work study programs and student loans would be available to Dreamers, and that the five-year waiting period would be cut to one year for those that enlist in the military.
And while many agree that concepts laid out by the Dream Act are mostly positive, some legislatures take issue with the fact that the bill does not set an age limit for Dreamers. There is also concern that the House-backed bill may not account for Dreamers the same way the Senate bill does.
Another compelling component of the Dream Act would allow some Dreamers to reenter the country as long as they were deported before 2012.
Source: Huffington Post, “Dreamers Get Best Version Of Dream Act In Senate Immigration Bill,” Griselda Nevarez, May 24, 2013