The Migration Policy Institute released a study last week regarding the legislation which would allow young illegal immigrants to obtain lawful immigration status based on education and/or military service. The Development, Relief, and Education for Minor’s Act (“DREAM Act”), was reintroduced in both chambers of Congress in March 2009. The latest action on the bills are as follows: in the Senate, it has been read twice and referred to the Committee of the Judiciary; in the House, it has been referred to the Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning and Competitiveness. The next steps are for the Senate and House to pass the bills.

To qualify, applicants must:

* Be between ages 12 to 35;
* Have entered the U.S. before the age of 16;
* Have been present in the U.S. for at least five consecutive years; and,
* Have a U.S. high school diploma or the equivalent.

Applicants would be given conditional status for six years and receive employment authorization documents, be able to attend school in the U.S. and be given travel authorization. After the six-year period, the applicants can apply for permanent residence if they:

* Successfully complete at least two years of college (bachelor’s degree or higher) or military service; and,
* Maintain good moral character during that time period.

The analysis by the Migration Policy Institute, a nonprofit group that researches immigration issues, concluded that the bill could put approximately 2.1 million youth and young adults on a potential path to citizenship.

For more information on my practice and to learn how I’ve helped other families, please visit my website at


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