After passing through the House of Represenatives, the Senate has failed to deliver on passing the bipartisan DREAM Act. The DREAM Act stands for the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors and was drafted to provide a conditional pathway to legal permanent residence for certain unauthorized youth who, as children, were brought to the U.S. illegally if they can provide that they completed high school, have good moral character and complete at least two years of higher education or serve for at least two years in the U.S. military.
It appeared to all parties who have monitored this bill that the inability to pass the DREAM Act into law was chiefly due to politics. This bill can be seen as a litmus test for greater reform which worries and frustrates immigration practitioners. There is still hope for furtuer legislation however as interested parties such as the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and others will continue its efforts to lobby for the law’s passage because they see the Senate’s failure as nothing more than politics
The bill provides a path for those illegal children who came to the U.S. involuntarily and are here illegally through no fault of their own. The children who would have benefited under the DREAM Act would help the American economy by being educated in institutions of secondary education and/or by serving the U.S. armed forces. By not passing the bill, the U.S. Senate is basically saying that it does not want to deal with immigration issues, even logical ones, which should seem to spell doom for any Comprehensive Immigration Reform in the near future.