By Kevin Caufield
|Quieter than the bipartisan bickering over extension of the Bush-era tax cuts in Congress is an issue with far-reaching implications on immigration.|
It’s called the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, aka the DREAM Act. It was first introduced in the U.S. Senate in 2001 and was re-introduced in 2009.
The act would allow illegal immigrants who have graduated from high school and are of “good moral character” and who arrived in the U.S. illegally as minors while remaining here illegally for at least five years to be eligible to apply for permanent resident status, if they perform one of the three following criteria:
n Graduate from a two-year community college or;
n Complete at least two years toward a four-year college degree or;
n Serve two years in the U.S. military.
If the illegal immigrants choose college, they would not be eligible for federal higher education grants but would be able to apply for student loans and work study programs.
The Senate moved Thursday to delay a politically charged showdown vote on legislation carving out a path to legal status for foreign-born youngsters brought to this country illegally, putting off but probably not preventing the measure’s demise.
Facing GOP objections, Democrats put aside the Dream Act and said they’d try again to advance it before year’s end. They’re short of the 60 votes needed to do so, however, and critics in both parties quickly said they won’t change their minds in the waning days of the Democrat-controlled Congress.