According to a study from the Center for American Progress released Monday, legislation to provide a pathway to legal status for certain undocumented youth currently living in the United States would add an estimated $520 million to the Delaware economy and add more than 2,000 jobs here by 2030. U.S. Senator Chris Coons is a cosponsor of the bill -- the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act -- and voted in support of it in the Senate in December 2010.
"Our nation is home to many upstanding and law-abiding young immigrants, many of whom who had no choice in being brought to the United States and now want nothing more than the chance to contribute to this country as members of our military or civilian workforce," Senator Coons said. "This report shows that their contribution to our economy would be enormous. The DREAM Act embraces those who have lived in our country for a number of years and wish to continue contributing to our nation's economy and security by providing a path to legal status through education, financial responsibility, and military service. It is my hope the Senate reconsiders the DREAM Act soon, and that this report helps build support for its passage."
According to the Center for American Progress' report, which can be found here: http://ampr.gs/VPU8pV, passage of the DREAM Act would add $329 billion the nation's economy by 2030, would support the creation of 1.4 million new jobs, and would generate more than $10 billion in revenue for the federal government.
In order to be eligible for the DREAM Act, a minor must have entered the U.S. before the age of 16 and have lived in the U.S. for at least five years. Eligible minors would gain legal status by either receiving a college education or serving in the U.S. military. Although the House passed the DREAM Act in 2010, the bill failed to reach the 60-vote threshold in the Senate. Although reintroduced in 2011, the current Congress has not taken a vote on the DREAM Act.
The Center for American Progress report estimated 4,000 young Delawareans would qualify under the DREAM Act. The report estimates 2.1 million undocumented youth currently live in the United States.