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Immigrant Rights

What is the DREAM Act?

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The DREAM Act allows for children of undocumented workers that graduate from US high schools meeting the requirements for higher education to pay in-state tuition rates rather than international rates, which are out of financial reach of most students.  Watch this video about the DREAM Act.


Summary of the DREAM Act:

Amends the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to repeal the denial of an unlawful alien's eligibility for higher education benefits based on state residence unless a U.S. national is similarly eligible without regard to such state residence.

Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to cancel the removal of, and adjust to conditional permanent resident status, an alien who:

  1. entered the United States before his or her 16th birthday and has been present in the United States for at least five years immediately preceding enactment of this Act;
  2. is a person of good moral character;
  3. is not inadmissible or deportable under specified grounds of the Immigration and Nationality Act;
  4. at the time of application, has been admitted to an institution of higher education or has earned a high school or equivalent diploma;
  5. from the age of 16 and older, has never been under a final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal; and
  6. was under age 35 on the date of this Act's enactment. 

Sets forth the conditions for conditional permanent resident status, including:

  1. termination of status for violation of this Act; and
  2. removal of conditional status to permanent status.

Authorizes an alien who has satisfied the appropriate requirements prior to enactment of this Act to petition the Secretary for conditional permanent resident status.  Provides for:

  1. exclusive jurisdiction;
  2. penalties for false application statements;
  3. confidentiality;
  4. fee prohibitions;
  5. higher education assistance; and
  6. a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report respecting the number of aliens adjusted under this Act.


DREAM Act 2009 Reintroduced - Learn More


Bill S.729 DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act 2009 has been introduced and sponsored by Senator Dick Durbin (D, IL) and Senator Richard Lugar (R, IN) with 19 co sponsors including Sentator Feingold (D, WI). 

Learn More

Legislative Joint Finance Committee in Appleton on April 1

No foolin'! The committee was in session in Lawrence University's Stansbury Theatre from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Opening to a packed crowd, the meeting offered opportunities for citizens and interest groups to share their views and positions on items included in (or omitted from) the Governor's proposed 2010-11 budget. ESTHER was well represented. Gwen Gibson and Rev. Maynard Beemer spoke (see photo) on behalf of earned early release and drivers certificates for immigrants who cannot get driver's licenses because of RealID. Representatives from JOSHUA were also present and spoke.

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