Can you believe that 2001 was 20 years ago?? Few are aware that the DREAM Act has been around for that long.
It's hard for us to believe, and harder still for us to understand why proposed DREAM Act legislation has sat in limbo for the last two decades.
The first iteration of the proposed DREAM Act was introduced in the House in April of 2001. Since then at least 10 versions of the DREAM Act have been introduced in Congress, but none have become law.
The DREAM Act of 2021 is a bipartisan bill introduced to the Senate on February 4, 2021 by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). It is identical to versions introduced by the same senators in the last two sessions of Congress, and is the fourth time Durbin and Graham have introduced legislation to the Senate that includes protections for Dreamers.
If the Act is passed, applicants meeting the following requirements would receive conditional permanent residence:
- Through documentation described in the bill, establish that they were brought to the U.S. at age 17 or younger and have lived continuously in the U.S. for at least four years prior to the bill's enactment;
- Pass a government background check, demonstrate “good moral character” with no felony or multiple misdemeanor convictions, submit biometric and biographic data, and undergo a biometric and medical exam;
- Demonstrate they have been admitted to a college or university, have earned a high school diploma, or are in the process of earning a high school diploma or an equivalent; and
- Pay an application fee.
The conditional permanent residency could be changed to lawful permanent residency (aka a green card) upon meeting certain conditions, such as completing at least two years of a degree program, military service, or working for three years.
According to a PEW Research Study conducted in June 2020, nearly 75% of U.S. adults say they are in favor of DACA. We are hopeful that the Senate will pass this new Dream Act, signifying a return to the Senate being able to work together in a bipartisan manner.
Please reach out to your legislators on both sides of the aisle to tell them how important it is for Congress to pass the Dream Act of 2021! You can contact Virginia Senator Mark Warner here, and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine here.
If you would like to have an appointment with one of our immigration attorneys to see if you can apply for DACA now, please reach out to us at (757) 422-8472, or send us a message on our website. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys by clicking on this link.