The Dream Act, which gives legal status to child illegal immigrants, may be passed in Congress.
15 November 2010
US immigration act given one last push in Congress
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will make one last push in the final days of the 111th Congress to pass legislation allowing illegal immigrants who entered the US as children to earn legal status if they attend college or serve in the US military.
Political commentators believe the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act – also known as the Dream Act – has a better chance of passing the bill in this session than when the new, divided Congress is sworn in this January.
If Reid can put the legislation through the Senate while Democrats are still in charge of the House, the bill has a real chance to become law.
President Barack Obama supports the act, which would allow illegal immigrants brought to this country as children by their parents to become legal residents and eventually US citizens if they attend college or serve in the U.S. military for at least two years.
The bill is aimed at young people who came to the United States before age 16; have been in the US continuously for at least five years; are of good moral character; and are under age 35 on the date of enactment.
Opponents say the legislation would only encourage more people to break the law.
However, supporters of the Dream Act say it would offer a path to economic stability for immigrant children, allowing them to become productive residents. Defense Secretary Robert Gates also supports the legislation, saying it would help boost military recruitment.