June 2nd, 2009
04:40 PM ET

What is the DREAM Act?

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more about the DREAM Act and who it may impact on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/04/09/obama.immigration/art.yuma.sector.fence.gi.jpg caption="A fence separates the United States from Mexico in the U.S. Border Patrol's Yuma Sector in San Luis, Arizona."]

From the Senate's version of the DREAM Act:

A bill to amend the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to permit States to determine State residency for higher education purposes and to authorize the cancellation of removal and adjustment of status of certain alien students who are long-term United States residents and who entered the United States as children, and for other purposes.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Immigration
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. hungry in the south

    @ sule.... your alright in my book 🙂

    June 3, 2009 at 1:20 am |
  2. Sue G

    I am a high school teacher in North Carolina and one of my best students just graduated last week. He is an illegal Mexican immigrant who wrote his senior research project about the DREAM Act. He is also an honor student and an Eagle Scout. His family works hard, and lives in a small, neat ranch home on a quiet street. They came to this country when he was seven years old in order to obtain a higher standard of living. Basically, they are very nice people who simply do not have viable, affordable options when it comes to legalizing themselves or their two sons. Would you want to move to a third world country for three years and pay $40,000 in fines just to become legal? The DREAM Act would provide a way where at least their children could earn legal citizenship. Why punish the children, when it was the parents who decided to come here? These kids have worked hard, and now they just want to go to college or serve in the military like every other 18 year old. As an Eagle Scout (showing good character) who has lived in the country for more than 10 years and is planning to go to college, my student would be a perfect candidate for the DREAM Act.

    When you get to know the people that the legislation is intended to help, you realize that they're not just a bunch of stupid Mexicans. They're hard working families just like you and me, trying to do the best they can. They're not asking for money, only a simpler path to citizenship that doesn't punish their children for the parents' decision to arrive here illegally.

    June 2, 2009 at 9:20 pm |
  3. Dee

    As an immigrant myself and as a possible beneficiary of the passage of this bill, I have been praying for this bill to pass since its introduction in 2001. Immigrants are not a burden on tax payers! Immigrant students in California are allowed to go to colleges, universities, and cal states and pay resident tuition but are not allowed to receive government aid such as grants and financial aid! so those of you that think we take from the government and tax payers you are far from the truth. Those of us that are in higher education pay out of our very own pockets! NOT through financial aid. I am now halfway through the Master's Program. I am not a criminal, I am a hard working Mexican Woman trying to better myself, my family, and my community. I am a volunteer, a good student, and passionate about the career I am furthering myself in. I have been waiting for an opportunity to legalize my status ever since i found out I was different from my classmates. But I have not let this stop me. God and my Mother have done so much for me, and even though we are poor WE are not on welfare or receiving food stamps. We are decent people trying to better ourselves. Please God, let this be the year I will be able to come out of the shadows and fulfill my destiny to help others! Please!

    June 2, 2009 at 7:35 pm |
  4. Jim

    @Sule Your attitude is admirable. & I welcome you. You came here legally, learned the launguage,became a value to your community. Unfortunatly many from Mexico cross the border Illegally,Join gangs, sell drugs,Ect. It is People like that I have a MAJOR problem with. They refuse to learn the language & want America to be a part of Mexico. If they do not like it here let them go Home & Fix their Country. I as a 7th generation American citizen am tired of my taxes going to fund criminals.
    We have laws on the books but there are too many that choose to aid and abbet these Illegal criminals.

    June 2, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  5. El Random Hero

    The DREAM Act is going to give students who hve been here for their formative years the opportunity to give back to the country they grew up in and call home. We're already going to universities continuing out education. The DREAM Act would let us use those degrees.

    June 2, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  6. Enough

    Curtis – More Federal funding!! Are you out of your mind. Don't you think there is a bottom to the well? I am sick and tired of paying for everything for all the illegals. I can't afford them.

    June 2, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  7. Curtis Taylor

    This is an extremely interesting but provocative piece of legislation. It is wonderful that well educated foreign born individuals come here to improve the quality of life for all Americans. As a teacher, it is unfortunate that this country has given up on the American public school system. It would be wonderful if additional federal funding was set aside to assist "Americans in rual communities" to cope with sweeping changes within the American ethnic landscape.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  8. sule

    I am a Turkish American. I have recently become an Ameican Citiezen.
    I was supposed to be a Citizen years ago and I refused. Judge told me that in 30 years he had never heard someone say that so he tought I was anti American. I have corrected him and said"I am not from a country that my freedoms are limited,or governent that opposes their will on people therefore I will become Ameican when I spend the same amount of time I have spent in my birth country,pay the taxes that I have owed and then I will earn to be An American Citizen" I believe that some people should be immigrants for certain time and become a value to their community and hopefully not leave in Welfare than lets make them all Citizens.

    June 2, 2009 at 5:06 pm |