The DREAM Act allows undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children under the age of 16, who have been living in the U.S. continuously for five years and who have been law-abiding and generally of “good moral character,” to apply to the Department of Homeland Security for conditional legal status. If they attend college or serve honorably in the U.S. military for at least two years, these young people would become eligible for legal permanent residency and ultimately citizenship. An estimated 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school each year and would be potentially eligible for an adjustment of status under the Act.
“PTA believes that all children should have access to education and that every student should be afforded every opportunity to graduate from high school and pursue postsecondary education, including vocational education… [The Dream Act] opens the door to a better, brighter future for the children of immigrant families who want to go on to school, better their lives, and become contributing members of society. PTA further believes that an educated, successful populace benefits the United States as a whole.” -The National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) (March 6, 2007)
“The DREAM Act would give these young people an opportunity to meet their potential and to fully contribute to our society… the United States is the only country and home many of them know… Should we forsake these young people because we lack the political will and courage to provide them a just remedy? By investing in these young people, our nation will receive the benefits for years to come. It is also the right and moral thing to do." -Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando, Florida, on behalf of the U.S. Episcopal Conference (September 20, 2007)
"They follow the rules, they work hard in school, and unfortunately, they are undocumented, so their options are greatly limited, and they can be deported at any time. We are not a country that punishes children for the mistakes of their parents."–Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah (October 24, 2007)