As you know, a vote on the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2010 (H.R. 6497), is scheduled for a vote later today (12/8). The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) strongly urges Representative ______ to vote in favor of DREAM.
AILA urges Representative ______ to VOTE "YES" on the DREAM Act because:
- The DREAM Act supports the U.S. Military by expanding the ranks of eligible recruits.
- The DREAM Act would benefit young people, including high-school valedictorians, honor students, student-athletes, and those enlisting in the military by providing them with an opportunity to pursue their dreams.
- The DREAM Act will benefit the U.S. economy.
- H.R. 6497 includes substantial surcharges to beneficiaries totaling $2,525 in addition to the regular fees. These fees also address Pay-Go concerns. These charges are not in any previous version of DREAM.
- DREAM Act recipients will generate at least $1.4 trillion for America in added wealth over the next 40 years, according to a UCLA study.
- As of this morning, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) had not yet released a score on H.R 6497. The CBO score for the Senate bill (S. 3992) projects that it would reduce the deficit by $1.4 billion from 2010 to 2020. Since H.R. 6497 includes surcharges and eliminates even more federal benefits, it would score even higher than S. 3992.
- The DREAM Act has tough, stringent eligibility requirements.
- All applicants must show good moral character from the date of entry into the U.S. H.R. 6497 excludes individuals with criminal convictions, including those with minor misdemeanors.
- All applicants must submit to background checks and medical examination, and males must register for military selective service.
- All applicants must pay $2,525 in surcharges, in addition to regular fees.
- No one will get a greencard for at least 10 years.
- All applicants must wait in a probationary status for 10 years.
- All applicants must maintain good moral character throughout this period.
- By passing DREAM, the 111th Congress will have passed two major immigration reform bills. This past August, Congress enacted a tough $600 million border and interior enforcement bill. Combined both bills show that Congress worked together to address the immigration issue.
About the DREAM ACT
The DREAM Act provides qualified undocumented students with the opportunity to secure legal permanent status if they work hard and successfully complete a number of prospective educational or military requirements. These young people were brought to the United States by their parents at an age when they had no say in the decision. Many have spent the majority of their lives in the United States and consider themselves to be Americans. Like their U.S.-born peers, they dream of pursuing a higher education or serving in the military, but they are prevented from doing so because they lack legal status. The DREAM Act would provide an avenue for these young people to acquire legal status, pursue a college degree or join the U.S. armed forces. The DREAM Act has enjoyed broad, bipartisan support since its original introduction.
The latest iteration of the DREAM Act, H.R. 6497, deserves consideration by all members of Congress. The new bill keeps in place existing restrictions on states providing in-state college tuition rates. The new version also lowers the age of eligibility by 5 years, excluding anyone over 29 from applying. Those who receive the conditional status under the DREAM Act also would be ineligible for Medicaid, food stamps and other government-funded benefits.
AILA urges Representative ______ to help America tap the limitless talents of these high-achieving, DREAM-eligible kids.
AILA, Director of Advocacy