Current Status of the Dream Act of 2017

January 1, 2018 § Leave a comment

President Donald Trump has given Congress until March of 2018 to develop a replacement program for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which was an executive order made under Obama in 2012. The DACA program offered children of undocumented immigrants a temporary reprieve from deportation. Upon approval they were eligible for work permits and could not be deported for at least 2 years if they met the eligibility requirements.

The replacement bill, known as the “Dream Act of 2017” was introduced on July 20, 2017 by Senator Graham (R-SC) and was written with the help of Senator Durbin (D-IL). After being read twice, it was passed over for review to the judiciary committee. In order for the bill to become effective, it must be passed through the Senate, the House of Representatives and signed by President Trump.

There are approximately 800,000 children or DACA recipients that qualify as a “dreamer”. If an alien is considered qualified under the act, he or she will gain status as a permanent resident on a conditional basis.

According to section 3 of the Dream Act of 2017, the qualifications for being considered a “dreamer” include (1) having been continuously physically present in the United States for four years preceding this bill’s enactment; (2) was younger than 18 years of age on the initial date of U.S. entry; (3) is not inadmissible on criminal, security, terrorism, or other grounds; (4) has not participated in persecution; (5) has not been convicted of specified federal or state offenses; and (6) has fulfilled specified educational requirements.

Requirements following the application include a background check, medical exam, and registering with the select service. There is an application fee, but it can be waived in the following cases: if the alien is under the age of 18, has received a total income of less than 150% of the poverty line in a 12-month period, is under the age of 18 and homeless, is in foster care, or has a chronic disability that prevents self-care.

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