Thursday, August 24, 2017
Protecting the DREAM: The Potential Impact of Different Legislative Scenarios for Unauthorized Youth
A Migration Policy Institute "Fact Sheet" evaluates the possible impacts of congressional efforts to legalize unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. As the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has provided temporary relief from deportation to nearly 800,000 DREAMers, faces a deeply uncertain future, there may be new momentum—and pressure—on Congress to act to grant legal status to a population viewed sympathetically by many on both sides of the political aisle.
A pair of bills introduced in the House and Senate in 2017, largely modeled on earlier versions of the DREAM Act, would offer conditional legal status and eventually legal permanent residence to unauthorized immigrants who entered as children; earn eligibility through completion of educational, professional, and other criteria; have a clean criminal record; and maintain “good moral character.”