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Senate to Take Up House Version of DREAM Act

On December 9, 2010, the Senate voted to withdraw its version of the DREAM Act, S. 3992, and to take up the House version, H.R. 6497, that was passed on December 8. The Senate still needs to plow through other tough legislation before it will vote on DREAM, but it is anticipated DREAM will be voted on next week. In the meantime, supporters should continue to fax or email the Senate in the next few days because at least 60 votes are needed to pass DREAM.

The House version has the two five-year periods of “conditional nonimmigrant status” before adjusting to permanent residence or green card status, the higher “surcharge” filing fees, and ineligibility for Stafford loans. It’s not the best bill we could have hoped for, but it’s better than no bill at all and will grant relief to young people who have grown up in the U.S. I will post a more thorough analysis of H.R. 6497 shortly.

The DREAM Act has gained incredible momentum among young people, educators, immigrant communities, the military, employers, and across many other segments of the population across the country. Undocumented students and young people have shown they are brave to come forward in the limelight; they are organized, dedicated and eloquent advocates. Meanwhile, as I cited in my earlier post,