The Dream Act, which allows children of undocumented immigrants to work toward legal status and pursue a college education, failed again on Sept. 21 to pass through the U.S. Senate. But Kevin Appleby, director of migration policy and public affairs for the U.S. bishops’ Office of Migration and Refugee Services, expressed confidence on Sept. 24 that the idea “is gaining more support on the merits.” The legislation regularizes the legal status of people who came to the United States before age 16, lived here at least five years, graduated from a U.S. high school and were pursuing higher education or military service. According to the Migration Policy Institute, approximately 114,000 young people who have already obtained at least an associate’s degree would be immediately eligible for conditional lawful permanent resident status under the legislation. Another 612,000 high school graduates could be eligible if they graduated from college or completed two years of military service.
The Dream Act Endures