The DREAM Act and Deferred Action Immigration Law Firms
The DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) is a legislative proposal introduced in the U.S. Senate on August 1, 2001 and then reintroduced in 2009. The bill was created to help young immigrants obtain permanent residency and extend their education at a U.S. college or university.
In order to qualify for the DREAM Act, illegal aliens must meet the following criteria:
• The applicant must have entered the United States before their 16th birthday.
• The applicant must have resided in the United States continuously for at least five years prior to the bill passing.
• The applicant must have graduated from a U.S. high school, obtained a GED, currently be enrolled in an institution for higher learning, or have served in the U.S. Armed Forces for at least two years and have been honorably discharged.
• The applicant must be under the age of 30.
• The applicant must have good moral standing (no previous or current convictions).
On Friday, June 15, 2012, President Barack Obama, via executive order, granted young illegal immigrants deferred action, or protection from deportation, if they meet the above criteria. President Obama announced that the U.S. will stop deporting young undocumented immigrants and will offer them the chance to obtain work permits. The president added that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will focus on the removal of illegal aliens who pose an actual threat to the security of the nation and its inhabitants.