Only time will tell if the Dream Act will help CIR or not. It’s a good idea that may not play out.
To this point, CIR has been called many things. It has been held out to have many benefits, that it will change the course of immigration in the US and change history. Other acts have been proposed as companion pieces to the main event. One such act is the Dream Act.
The idea behind the Dream Act is that the law would allow certain illegal immigrants, brought here by their parents when they were young and educated in US schools, to become permanent residents. “Put another way, it would mean that some undocumented immigrants would become legal residents. How would that happen? The first step would be for the person to enroll in some kind of higher education – vocational school, university or an apprenticeship program,” commented Sally Odell, an immigration lawyer at Rifkin Fox-Isicoff, P.A., in Miami and Orlando, Florida.
Another option open to individuals would be to enlist in the US military. In short, if the requirements were met, the person could apply for conditional residency in the US. If they acquired an associate’s degree (or 2 year equivalent) within 6 years of their initial petition for permanent residency, the conditional status would be changed to legal permanent resident. They have to have come into the US before turning 16 and have lived in the States for at least five years and be able to speak English.
Statistically speaking, there are approximately 65,000 students that could possibly become conditional residents every year, provided they follow the rules and regulations of whatever immigration system is in place at the time. “While this sounds good on the surface, like many large scale ideas dealing with illegal immigrants, there will likely be flaws in the execution of something like this. Succinctly put, there are way too many ifs, ands and buts involved in something like this to expect it to fly without glitches,” Odell observed.
Generally speaking, the idea behind this proposed act is the use taxpayer’s money more wisely; money being used right now to educate illegal immigrant children. If the children take further schooling or commit to the military, they would be allowed to become legal citizens and not run the risk of losing their family through deportation. “Civil liberties people would likely want to question this setup since the arrangement offers no other scenarios, and since when should people be forced into going to school or the military if they don’t want to lose their families via deportation?” added Odell.
What is the solution to this conundrum? Valid question and one that really doesn’t have a defined answer for now, largely because CIR is still up in the air and no one really knows when it will come down.
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