It is critical to note that the DREAM Act is not law. If you are looking for the new policy announced by President Obama and Janet Napolitano, please refer to our deferred action page.
The DREAM Act is a piece of federal legislation which would legalize the status of several million undocumented youth. The DREAM Act stands for the Development Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act. The bill was first introduced in 2001, it has been re-introduced each session since then.
The DREAM Act has come up for a vote twice, one in 2007 and again in 2010. In order to pass the Senate the DREAM Act requires 60 votes, in 2007 it was able to garner 52 votes and in 2010, despite passing in the House, the bill came 5 votes short in the Senate with 55.
There have been several different versions of the bill introduced since 2001, the basic outline has remained the same though. In order to qualify for the DREAM Act one would need to meet the following requirements:
- Entered the United States at the age of 15 or younger;
- Able to prove 5 years of presence in the United States prior to the bills passage;
- Obtain a G.E.D. or high school diploma;
- Under the age of 30 (some bills the age cap has been 35).
If you meet the above requirements you would then have 6 years in which to complete a two-year degree or enlist in the military for at least two-years. Note in the final 2010 version of the DREAM Act the dates where changed a bit, instead of 6 it was extended to 10. You should check out the most recent version of the bill to see what it entails.