Today, Congressman Albio Sires voted in favor of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act. The DREAM Act would make it possible for those brought to this country as young children to remain in the United States if they pursue higher education or military service. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 216 to 198.
"I am a longtime supporter of the bill, and I am thankful that we finally have the opportunity to move forward with this significant and life-changing legislation," said Congressman Sires. "Currently, there are young people in this country who know no other home, yet they do not have access to the opportunities that make this country strong. They are unable to resolve their immigration status and therefore can offer little to the country that they love."
This bill is constructed to target a specific population of children brought to the United States by their parents at a young age. To be eligible for conditional immigration status, the young people must have arrived in the United States before they were 16, have lived in the United States for at least five years before the bill's enactment, and be under 29 years of age. Additionally, they must demonstrate that they have graduated high school, completed their GED, or been accepted to an institution of higher learning. After a minimum of thirteen years and if additional requirements are met, those qualified can apply for U.S. citizenship.
"The contributions of these young people would benefit our country and our economy. This bill would allow young people throughout the country to pursue the kind of futures that they deserve. It would also allow our country to take advantage of the talents that these bright young people have to offer," said Congressman Sires.
The DREAM ACT now awaits consideration by the Senate.