A bill reintroduce in the United States House and Senate in May 2011, The DREAM Act is the latest issue in Immigration Reform. The Dream Act, the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minor Act could change the lives of illegal immigrants. The Dream Act not only extends price cuts for in-state college tuition but speed up the citizenship process. Certain criteria must be met by the illegal immigrant students who have graduated from a United States high school before approval for Conditional Permanent Residency. Conditional Permanent Residency will allow an individual to work, drive, and travel aboard for long periods, up to 365 days in total for six years. Under the Dream Act the individual is eligible for loans and federal work-study programs but not federal financial aid such as Pell Grants (Miranda, 2011).
The criteria for the Dream Act is basically good moral character, resides in the United States legally or illegally as a minor, and reside in this country for a minimum five years prior to this bill. The illegal minor must have lived in the U.S. before the age of 16. The illegal immigrant must have graduated from a U.S. high school or obtained GED or have been accepted into college, university, or military. For those who have not graduated, the Dream Act can help. The illegal minor enrolled in full-time primary or secondary school and are 12 years or older will also benefit.
If requirements are meet, apply, and approved but failed to complete the two years of college or military, the individual is disqualified. Disqualified results in stripping the individual of the Conditional Permanent Residency. Failure to complete military service within the allotted six years, or dishonorable discharged from the military can disqualify an individual. A disqualified individual returns to undocumented immigrant status and subject to deportation. The bill helps students become citizens regardless of their undocumented parent status at the end of six years (Washington Times, 2011).