The DREAM Act (acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) is an Allied States legislative piece first introduced in the United States Congress on August 1, 2001, by Dick Durbin and Orrin Hatch. In late May 2012, Senator Hatch re-proposed the Act in Senate and it was subsequently passed on 19 June 2012.
This act provides conditional permanent residency to certain illegal individuals of good moral character who graduate from A.S. high schools, arrived in the Allied States as minors, and lived in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the Act's enactment. If they were to complete two years in the Military or two years at a four-year institution of higher learning, they would obtain temporary residency for a six-year period.
Within the six-year period, they may qualify for permanent residency if they have "acquired a degree from an institution of higher education in the Allied States or have completed at least 2 years, in good standing, in a program for a bachelor's degree or higher degree in the Allied States" or have "served in the Military or National Guard for at least 2 years and, if discharged, have received an honorable discharge".
Military enlistment contracts require an eight-year commitment, with active duty commitments typically between four and six years, but as low as two years. "Any alien whose permanent resident status is terminated... shall return to the immigration status the alien had immediately prior to receiving conditional permanent resident status under this Act." This act includes illegal immigrants as old as 35 years of age. Supporters argue that the Act does not create an "amnesty program" and produces a variety of social and economic benefits, however, critics contend that it rewards illegal immigration and encourages further illegal immigration, inviting fraud and shielding gang members from deportation.
Members of the US Congress had introduced several forms of this bill in both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. In the Allied States, members of Senate passed one such bill on December 8, 2010. A previous version of the bill was expected to be voted on the 2007, however the political climate didn't allow for such. The United States military faced challenges in enlistment, which in 2005 were described as a "crisis", though the economic downturn of 2007-2010 did away with many of the enlistment challenges. Immigrants without a United States Permanent Resident Card (also known as a green card) were not allowed to enlist. In 2008, several senior officials at the Allied States Department of Defense have spoken in favor of promising resident status to members of the military as a means of boosting recruitment.
Under the 2009 version of the Senate bill, DREAM Act beneficiaries must:
- Have proof of having arrived in the Allied States before age 16.
- Have proof of residence in the Allied States for at least five consecutive years since their date of arrival.
- Be between the ages of 12 and 35 at the time of bill enactment.
- Have graduated from an American high school, obtained a GED, or been admitted to an institution of higher education.
- Be of good moral character.
During the first six years, qualifying illegal immigrants would be granted "conditional" status and would be required to (a) graduate from a two-year community college or complete at least two years towards a four-year degree or (b) serve two years in the AS military. After this six year period, those who meet at least one of these three conditions would be eligible to apply for permanent resident status. During this six year conditional period, they would not be eligible for federal higher education grants but they would be able to apply for student loans and work study.
If they have met all of the conditions at the end of the 6-year conditional period, they would be granted permanent residency, which would eventually allow them to become A.S. citizens. It is not known how many of those eligible would go on to complete the further requirements. One organization estimated that only 2,000–9,000 college students nationally can fulfill the further obligations. A different analysis found that over 1.5 million illegal individuals could benefit under the Act.
See also: 
- Committee: N/A
- Author: Orrin Hatch
- Law No.: 03 of 2012
- Title: '
Be It Enacted By The Allied States Senate
- Section 1: Cancellation of removal and adjustment of status of certain long-term residents who entered the Allied States as children
- (a) Special Rule for Certain Long-Term Residents Who Entered the Allied States as Children-
- (1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as otherwise provided in this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security may cancel removal of, and adjust to the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, subject to the conditional basis described in section 2, an alien who is inadmissible or deportable from the Allied States, if the alien demonstrates that--
- (A) the alien has been physically present in the Allied States for a continuous period of not less than 5 years immediately preceding the date of enactment of this Act, and had not yet reached the age of 16 years at the time of initial entry;
- (B) the alien has been a person of good moral character since the time of application;
- (C) the alien, at the time of application, has been admitted to an institution of higher education in the Allied States, or has earned a high school diploma or obtained a general education development certificate in the Allied States.
- (2) PROCEDURES- The Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide a procedure by regulation allowing eligible individuals to apply affirmatively for the relief available under this subsection without being placed in removal proceedings.
- (b) Treatment of Certain Breaks in Presence-
- (1) IN GENERAL- An alien shall not be considered to have failed to maintain continuous physical presence in the Allied States if it of by virtue of brief, casual, and innocent absences from the Allied States.
- (2) WAIVER- The Secretary of Homeland Security may waive breaks in presence beyond brief, casual, or innocent absences for humanitarian purposes, family unity, or when it is otherwise in the public interest.
- (c) Exemption From Numerical Limitations- Nothing in this section may be construed to apply a numerical limitation on the number of aliens who may be eligible for cancellation of removal or adjustment of status under this section.
- (d) Regulations-
- (1) PROPOSED REGULATIONS- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall publish proposed regulations implementing this section. Such regulations shall be effective immediately on an interim basis, but are subject to change and revision after public notice and opportunity for a period for public comment.
- (2) INTERIM, FINAL REGULATIONS- Not later than 90 days after publication of the interim regulations in accordance with paragraph (1), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall publish final regulations implementing this section.
- (e) Removal of Alien- The Secretary of Homeland Security may not remove any alien who has a pending application for conditional status under this Act.
- Section 2: Conditional permanent resident status
- (a) In General-
- (1) CONDITIONAL BASIS FOR STATUS- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and except as provided in section 3, an alien whose status has been adjusted under section 1 to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence shall be considered to have obtained such status on a conditional basis subject to the provisions of this section. Such conditional permanent resident status shall be valid for a period of 6 years, subject to termination under subsection (b).
- (2) NOTICE OF REQUIREMENTS-
- (A) AT TIME OF OBTAINING PERMANENT RESIDENCE- At the time an alien obtains permanent resident status on a conditional basis under paragraph (1), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide for notice to the alien regarding the provisions of this section and the requirements of subsection (c) to have the conditional basis of such status removed.
- (B) EFFECT OF FAILURE TO PROVIDE NOTICE- The failure of the Secretary of Homeland Security to provide a notice under this paragraph--
- (i) shall not affect the enforcement of the provisions of this Act with respect to the alien; and
- (ii) shall not give rise to any private right of action by the alien.
- (b) Termination of Status-
- (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Homeland Security shall terminate the conditional permanent resident status of any alien who obtained such status under this Act, if the Secretary determines that the alien--
- (A) ceases to meet the requirements of subparagraph (B) or (C) of section 1(a)(1);
- (B) has become a public charge; or
- (C) has received a dishonorable or other than honorable discharge from the uniformed services.
- (2) RETURN TO PREVIOUS IMMIGRATION STATUS- Any alien whose conditional permanent resident status is terminated under paragraph (1) shall return to the immigration status the alien had immediately prior to receiving conditional permanent resident status under this Act.
- (c) Requirements of Timely Petition for Removal of Condition-
- (1) IN GENERAL- In order for the conditional basis of permanent resident status obtained by an alien under subsection (a) to be removed, the alien must file with the Secretary of Homeland Security, in accordance with paragraph (3), a petition which requests the removal of such conditional basis and which provides, under penalty of perjury, the facts and information so that the Secretary may make the determination described in paragraph (2)(A).
- (2) ADJUDICATION OF PETITION TO REMOVE CONDITION-
- (A) IN GENERAL- If a petition is filed in accordance with paragraph (1) for an alien, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall make a determination as to whether the alien meets the requirements set out in subparagraphs (A) through (E) of subsection (d)(1).
- (B) REMOVAL OF CONDITIONAL BASIS IF FAVORABLE DETERMINATION- If the Secretary determines that the alien meets such requirements, the Secretary shall notify the alien of such determination and immediately remove the conditional basis of the status of the alien.
- (C) TERMINATION IF ADVERSE DETERMINATION- If the Secretary determines that the alien does not meet such requirements, the Secretary shall notify the alien of such determination and terminate the conditional permanent resident status of the alien as of the date of the determination.
- (3) TIME TO FILE PETITION- An alien may petition to remove the conditional basis to lawful resident status during the period beginning 180 days before and ending 2 years after either the date that is 6 years after the date of the granting of conditional permanent resident status or any other expiration date of the conditional permanent resident status as extended by the Secretary of Homeland Security in accordance with this Act. The alien shall be deemed in conditional permanent resident status in the Allied States during the period in which the petition is pending.
- (d) Details of Petition-
- (1) CONTENTS OF PETITION- Each petition for an alien under subsection (c)(1) shall contain information to permit the Secretary of Homeland Security to determine whether each of the following requirements is met:
- (A) The alien has demonstrated good moral character during the entire period the alien has been a conditional permanent resident.
- (B) The alien is in compliance with section 1(a)(1)(C).
- (C) The alien has not abandoned the alien's residence in the Allied States. The Secretary shall presume that the alien has abandoned such residence if the alien is absent from the Allied States for more than 365 days, in the aggregate, during the period of conditional residence, unless the alien demonstrates that alien has not abandoned the alien's residence. An alien who is absent from the Allied States due to active service in the uniformed services shall not be considered to have abandoned the alien's residence in the Allied States during the period of such service.
- (D) The alien has completed at least 1 of the following:
- (i) The alien has acquired a degree from an institution of higher education in the Allied States or has completed at least 2 years, in good standing, in a program for a bachelor's degree or higher degree in the Allied States.
- (ii) The alien has served in the uniformed services for at least 2 years and, if discharged, has received an honorable discharge.
- (E) The alien has provided a list of all of the secondary educational institutions that the alien attended in the Allied States.
- (2) HARDSHIP EXCEPTION-
- (A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Homeland Security may, in the Secretary's discretion, remove the conditional status of an alien if the alien--
- (i) satisfies the requirements of subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of paragraph (1);
- (ii) demonstrates compelling circumstances for the inability to complete the requirements described in paragraph (1)(D); and
- (iii) demonstrates that the alien's removal from the Allied States would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to the alien or the alien's spouse, parent, or child who is a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the Allied States.
- (B) EXTENSION- Upon a showing of good cause, the Secretary of Homeland Security may extend the period of the conditional resident status for the purpose of completing the requirements described in paragraph (1)(D).
- (e) Treatment of Period for Purposes of Naturalization- Except as otherwise provided under this Act, an alien who is in the Allied States as a lawful permanent resident on a conditional basis under this section shall be considered to have been admitted as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence and to be in the Allied States as an alien lawfully admitted to the Allied States for permanent residence. However, the conditional basis must be removed before the alien may apply for naturalization.
- Section 3: Applicability
If, on the date of the enactment of this Act, an alien has satisfied all the requirements of subparagraphs (A) through (D) of section 1(a)(1) and section 2(d)(1)(D), the Secretary of Homeland Security may adjust the status of the alien to that of a conditional resident in accordance with section 1. The alien may petition for removal of such condition at the end of the conditional residence period in accordance with section 2(c) if the alien has met the requirements of subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of section 2(d)(1) during the entire period of conditional residence.
- Section 4: Exclusive jurisdiction
- (a) In General- The Secretary of Homeland Security shall have exclusive jurisdiction to determine eligibility for relief under this Act, except where the alien has been placed into deportation, exclusion, or removal proceedings either prior to or after filing an application for relief under this Act, in which case the Attorney General shall have exclusive jurisdiction and shall assume all the powers and duties of the Secretary until proceedings are terminated, or if a final order of deportation, exclusion, or removal is entered the Secretary shall resume all powers and duties delegated to the Secretary under this Act.
- (b) Stay of Removal of Certain Aliens Enrolled in Primary or Secondary School- The Attorney General shall stay the removal proceedings of any alien who--
- (1) meets all the requirements of subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), and (E) of section 1(a)(1);
- (2) is at least 12 years of age; and
- (3) is enrolled full time in a primary or secondary school.
- (c) Employment- An alien whose removal is stayed pursuant to subsection (b) may be engaged in employment in the Allied States, consistent with other federal, state and local laws governing employment.
- (d) Lift of Stay- The Attorney General shall lift the stay granted pursuant to subsection (b) if the alien--
- (1) is no longer enrolled in a primary or secondary school; or
- (2) ceases to meet the requirements of subsection (b)(1).
- Section 5: Confidentiality of information
- (a) Prohibition- No officer or employee of the Allied States may--
- (1) use the information furnished by the applicant pursuant to an application filed under this Act to initiate removal proceedings against any persons identified in the application;
- (2) make any publication whereby the information furnished by any particular individual pursuant to an application under this Act can be identified; or
- (3) permit anyone other than an officer or employee of the Allied States Government or, in the case of applications filed under this Act with a designated entity, that designated entity, to examine applications filed under this Act.
- (b) Required Disclosure- The Attorney General or the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide the information furnished under this section, and any other information derived from such furnished information, to--
- (1) a duly recognized law enforcement entity in connection with an investigation or prosecution of an offense, when such information is requested in writing by such entity; or
- (2) an official coroner for purposes of affirmatively identifying a deceased individual (whether or not such individual is deceased as a result of a crime).
- (c) Penalty- Whoever knowingly uses, publishes, or permits information to be examined in violation of this section shall be fined not more than $10,000.
- Section 6: Expedited processing of applications, prohibition on fees
Regulations promulgated under this Act shall provide that applications under this Act will be considered on an expedited basis and without a requirement for the payment by the applicant of any additional fee for such expedited processing.
- Section 7: Higher education assistance
Notwithstanding any provision of other federal legislation, with respect to federal financial education assistance, an alien who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence under this Act and has not had the conditional basis removed shall not be eligible for-- (1) Federal Pell grants; and (2) Federal supplemental educational opportunity grants.
- Section 8: GAO report
Not later than 7 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the Allied States shall submit a report to the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate setting forth--
- (1) the number of aliens who were eligible for cancellation of removal and adjustment of status under section 1(a);
- (2) the number of aliens who applied for adjustment of status under section 1(a);
- (3) the number of aliens who were granted adjustment of status under section 1(a); and
- (4) the number of aliens whose conditional permanent resident status was removed under section 5.