Published: May 11, 2011

After passing the House of Representatives last November, the most recent version of the DREAM Act failed because supporters were unable to gather enough Senate votes to overcome procedural hurdles. On May 11, 2011 Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois reintroduced a new version of the legislative proposal with the hope that the decade long struggle to turn this proposal into law finally succeeds (with a version of the bill first presented for congressional consideration back in 2001). A review: The DREAM in the DREAM Act stands for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors. The essence of the DREAM Act, in all of its incarnations – including the present one, is to allow for a path to legal immigration status for certain undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as young children, who have completed a high school education or equivalent and fulfill, prospectively, other conditions such as a minimum number of years of college or honorable service in the military. The enactment of a DREAM Act type proposal would benefit approximately 1-2 million undocumented young adults who were essentially raised as “Americans”, consider themselves “Americans” and have never really known any country other than the U.S. Like the debate on comprehensive immigration reform in general, the debate surrounding the DREAM Act will sadly be politics as usual – notwithstanding the fact that passage of this proposal makes all the sense in the world.

Copyright © 2011, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois