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What Happens After High School...? An Answer for undocumented students who grew up in the US.
What is it? The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act is bipartisan legislation that addresses the situation faced by young people who were brought to the US years ago as undocumented immigrant children and who have since grown up here, stayed in school, and kept out of trouble.
Why is the DREAM Act needed?
Every year, 65,000 U.S.-raised students who would qualify for the DREAM Act’s benefits graduate from high school. These include honor roll students, star athletes, talented artists, homecoming queens, and aspiring teachers, doctors, and business owners. They are young people who have lived in the U.S for most of their lives and desire only to call this country their home. Even though they were brought to the U.S. years ago as children, they face unique barriers to higher education, are unable to work legally in the U.S., and often live in constant fear of detection by immigration authorities.
Our immigration law currently has no mechanism to consider the special equities and circumstances of such students. The DREAM Act would eliminate this flaw. It is un-American to indefinitely and irremediably punish them for decisions made by adults many years ago. By enacting the DREAM Act, Congress would legally recognize what is de facto true: these young people belong here.
DREAM Act students should be allowed to get on with their lives. If Congress fails to act this year, another entire class of outstanding, law-abiding high school students will graduate without being able to plan for the future, and some will be removed from their home to countries they barely know. This tragedy will cause America to lose a vital asset: an educated class of promising immigrant students who have demonstrated a commitment to hard work and a strong desire to be contributing members of our society.
Once made into law, immigrants meeting the criteria will essentially have the opportunity to “earn” Permanent Residency. This means that students will be issued Temporary Residency for a period of six years, which is conditioned upon meeting certain educational or military requirements. Within the 6 years temporary residency period, a qualified student must attend college, and earn at least a two year degree (AA), or serve in the U.S. military for 2 years in order to maintain immigration benefits. Once the immigrant has met all of the conditions at the end of the 6-year conditional period, they will be granted Permanent Residency, which will lead to U.S. citizenship. However, if the student does not comply with either the college requirement or military service requirement, the Temporary Residency will be taken away and student will be subjected to deportation.
Termination of Benefits:
The Dream Act 2009 bill has not passed yet in Congress. Currently, representatives are re-writing and adding provisions that are not yet set in stone. If you’re worrying about what to do after high school; and if you want to go to college; and if you feel like the U.S. is your true home, write your congress member and urge them to pass Dream Act 2009.
More information can be found on:
dreamactivist.org ... (a site for undocumented youth)
scholarships for undocumented students...(regardless of your immigration status)