PoliticalNews.me - Dec 11,2010 - Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) voted for bipartisan, targeted legislation to ensure students who are already here and have grown up in the United States a chance to contribute to our country’s well-being by serving in the Armed Forces or pursuing a higher education. The bill is good for our economy, our security, and our nation. Perlmutter was a co-sponsor of HR 1751, the DREAM Act.
“This allows students who know no other home to pursue the American Dream and contribute to our country’s well-being by serving in the U.S. Armed Forces or pursuing a higher education,” said Perlmutter. “The DREAM Act is the right thing to do – both economically for our country and morally. “
The bill is targeted legislation allowing only the best and brightest young people to earn their legal status after a rigorous and lengthy process, and applies only to young people who have lived here for at least five years before the date of enactment, and who were brought to the U.S. by their parents as minors, through no fault of their own.
Following is an overview of some of the bill’s key provisions.
• Under the bill, a Dream Act applicant who meets the bill’s requirements becomes a “conditional nonimmigrant.” The Dream Act would allow an individual to obtain this conditional status only if he or she meets all of the following requirements:
* was brought to the United States as a child (15 years old or younger);
* is currently 29 years old or younger;
* has lived in the U.S. for 5 years or more before the date of enactment;
* has graduated from an American high school, has obtained a GED, or is admitted to an institution of higher education;
* has been a person of “good moral character,” as defined by our immigration laws, from the date the individual initially entered the United States;
* submits biometric and biographic information and completes security and law-enforcement background checks;
* undergoes a medical examination;
* registers for the Selective Service; and
* pays a significant surcharge in connection with the initial application.
• The Dream Act further limits eligibility for conditional status by specifically excluding anyone who:
* has committed one felony or three misdemeanors;
* is likely to become a public charge;
* has engaged in voter fraud or unlawful voting;
* has committed marriage fraud;
* has abused a student visa;
* has engaged in persecution; or
* poses a public health risk.
• While they are in conditional status, Dream Act participants are excluded from receiving government subsidies to participate in the health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act. They also would be ineligible for Medicaid, Food Stamps and other entitlement programs. Furthermore, they are prohibited from obtaining Pell grants, Federal supplemental educational opportunity grants, and other federal grants. However, they would be eligible for federal work study and student loans as well as social insurance programs to which they have contributed,