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Sens. Graham & Durbin Introduce Dream Act

author Published by Chris Chmielenski

Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) have introduced the Dream Act, S. 874. If passed, the bill would grant amnesty and lifetime work permits to more than 2 million illegal aliens who meet certain requirements. Unlike the H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, S. 874 would not grant amnesty to foreign citizens, most of whom first came to the country illegally, who have received Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Enforced Departure.

The text of the legislation has yet to be released, but the version introduced by both Sens. Graham and Durbin during the previous Congress would grant amnesty to more than 2 million illegal aliens who entered the country prior to their 18th birthday and have maintained continuous presence in the U.S. for the 4 years prior to enactment. To be eligible:

  • Illegal aliens must have received a high school diploma, or equivalent, or be pursuing a high school diploma, or its equivalent, or have been accepted to an institution of higher learning.
  • They must not have been convicted of a felony or three misdemeanors on separate days.
  • If eligible, illegal aliens receive conditional permanent status for 8 years and can adjust to legal permanent status (green cards) once they have received a bachelor’s degree or higher from a U.S. college or university, served at least 2 years in the armed forces, or worked at least 3 years.
  • The Secretary of Homeland Security may waive any of the requirements at any time.
  • There is no upper-age limit or end date to the amnesty, meaning illegal aliens who do not yet meet the academic requirements, but meet the residency requirements, can become eligible.

“These young people have lived in America since they were children and built their lives here,” Sen. Graham said. “There is support across the country for allowing Dreamers — who have records of achievement — to stay, work, and reach their full potential. We should not squander these young people’s talents.”

“This is a matter of simple American fairness and justice,” Sen. Durbin said.

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