The Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act (DREAM), instituted in 2001, aims to assist undocumented youth, who arrived to the United States with undocumented parents as children, to become citizens and further their education by attending college. This act would protect DREAM’ers from the eminent fear of deportation.
In order to qualify for the DREAM Act, an applicant must graduate high school, or have a GED, reside in the United States prior to their 16th birthday, live in the United States for five consecutive years, and have good moral standing. Once the application fee of $465 is paid and all guidelines are met, a person is given a temporary allowance to stay in the United States for up to six years.
Undocumented students are not eligible for federal financial aid and must pay out-of-state tuition costs because they do not have a social security number, driver’s license, or valid forms of identification. Many undocumented students are unaware of their post-secondary options and become discouraged from attending college due to the admissions and funding difficulties.
The act failed to pass the Senate with 55 out of the required 60 votes, and Governor Romney and President Obama differ regarding the longevity of the DREAM act. Governor Romney declared in the Republican primaries that he would veto the act based on his opposition for any method to citizenship for the approximate 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.