DREAM Act Myths

“Dream Act” by Santiago Uce

After Senator Harry Reid filed a new version of The DREAM Act (which you can read more about in an earlier post) designed to attract a broader range of bipartisan support and address a number of previously raised concerns, the Senate is expected to take up the legislation again this week.

Immigration Policy has published a piece that looks at popular myths that are clouding the discourse surrounding this policy.

Most of the myths surrounding the DREAM Act revolve around the perception of it as a type of amnesty that would encourage widespread illegal immigration into the country and make it harder to deport certain criminal elements. The fact of the matter is, the path to benefiting from the DREAM Act is a complicated and specific one, and anyone hoping to achieve legal status through through this channel must meet a strict criteria, including not having been convicted of serious crimes.

The other large area of misconception is the idea that those affected by the DREAM Act are given an unfair advantage over legal immigrants and American citizens applying for college and financial aid. The truth is that a study has shown that this policy would have almost zero impact on the college acceptance of native born students, and the students aided by this policy would only be eligible for Federal student loans and not Federal grants. Additionally, they are only eligible for in-state tuition where they would already otherwise qualify and only when state law permits it.

All this, and research has shown that the DREAM Act would be a boom to the U.S. economy and workforce.

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If you want to learn more about how you can make your voice heard, go here.

*Update (12.20.10) at 10:00 a.m.*

Sadly, The Senate’s failure to pass the DREAM Act over the weekend means it is highly unlikely that Obama would be able to pass any comprehensive immigration reform under the new Congress. Students who were affected are vowing to continue on on the state level in 2012.

*Update (12.17.10) at 9:30 a.m.*

The Senate is scheduled to vote on the DREAM Act on Saturday. For more information about how you can make your voice heard, click here.

*Update (12.9.10) at 2:00 p.m.*

The Senate may still address The DREAM Act this week after tabling it today. Senate Democrats have decided to withdraw their bill and focus on the one that has already passed in the House.

*Update (12.9.10) at 12:00 p.m.*

Senate Democrats have pulled The DREAM Act from consideration after conceding that they don’t have the votes. This makes it highly unlikely  for it to have a chance of passing before the year is over.

*Update (12.9.10) at 10:00 a.m.*

The House passed the DREAM Act last night, and it is expected to come up for debate in the Senate today. Cross your fingers.

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