The legislation, known as "The DREAM Act" is sponsored by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Richard Durbin (D-IL).

"The DREAM Act offers bright and highly motivated students a real incentive to become responsible and valued members of our society," Senator Feinstein said. "Every year, 50,000 undocumented children graduate from our nation's high schools or receive the equivalent of a secondary degree. From there, they can take one of two paths: they can look at the hopelessness of their situation and get involved in crime, even join street gains; or they can continue their education, find a good job, and give back something to the United States."

Specifically, The DREAM Act would:

Provide undocumented students the opportunity to gain conditional permanent resident status provided they:

(a) have lived in the United States for at least 5 years and were under the age of 16 at the time of entry;

(b) have graduated from high school or have been accepted to a college or institution of higher education;

(c) are of good moral character;

(d) are not deportable on account of a criminal conviction, alien smuggling or document fraud.

Permit undocumented students to convert their conditional status to that of a lawful permanent resident provided that they do one of the following:

(a) obtain a diploma from a junior college or trade school;

(b) complete at least two years of a bachelor's or graduate program;

(c) join the Armed Forces and if discharged, be honorably discharged; or

(d) perform part or full time volunteer community service under the direction of the USA Freedom Corps or with an entity eligible to receive funds from the Combined Federal Campaign.

For those who cannot fulfill these requirements, they would need to demonstrate both a compelling reason why they cannot meet the requirements, and exceptional and extremely unusual hardship if they were removed from the United States.

To become a lawful permanent resident, the applicants must remain persons of good moral character, not be a public charge during the period of conditional residence, or violate any of the criteria initially required to obtain conditional resident status.



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