On July 20, 2017, Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durban (D-IL) introduced a bipartisan bill entitled the Dream Act of 2017. On July 26, 2017, Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lucille Roybal-Allard introduced the House version to the House of Representatives.
This Dream Act is not the first immigration reform attempt relating to DREAMers. Versions have been introduced over the past years but have never passed.
The Dream Act of 2017 would allow young people brought to the U.S. as children to apply for lawful permanent residence, if they meet certain requirements. Some of the qualifications include:
- Long-term residency in the U.S. since childhood
- Graduation from high school or receipt of a GED
- Pursuance of higher education, lawful employment for at least 3 years, or service in the military
- Passing background checks
- Demonstrated proficiency in English and a knowledge of U.S. history
- No convictions for felonies or other serious crimes
If passed, it would likely provide a pathway to citizenship for many of the 600,000 young people who are currently registered under DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.