This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
It’s been a couple of nail-biting days for the DREAM Act. Just after a prolonged session yesterday in the House of Representatives, the bill survived, passed, and was sent to the Senate where it remains right now despite several media reports that earlier indicated the DREAM Act was “likely dead.”
But, as blogger Michael E. Hill explains, Harry Reid played his cards so well today that a vote on the bill is still possible next week, which gives Democrats extra time to whip up enough votes to pass this 10-year-old proposal.
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act would give thousands of undocumented immigrants of good moral character, who were brought here before the age of 16 and are up to 30 years of age, and who have been enrolled in an American high school, the chance to regularize their immigration status after two years of college or joining the military.
The act the House approved on Tuesday has been amended and become more strict, reducing the age limit from 35 to 30 years, which could leave out as many as 140,000 youth, as New America Media reports.
Tim Paynter at Technocrati details point by point what the redrafted bill looks like and observes that many of those fighting for the bill right now wouldn’t qualify under the new guidelines.
The Weekly Diaspora describes another complication with the current bill: While more than 2 million youths would theoretically be eligible for conditional legal residency under the DREAM Act, the educational barriers associated with poverty would reduce that number to 825,000, according to a report by the Migration Policy Institute.