Durbin Discusses Bipartisan Dream Act

CHICAGO – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today discussed The Dream Act of 2017, a bipartisan measure that would give young immigrants—more commonly known as Dreamers—a chance to earn lawful permanent residence and citizenship. Durbin was joined by Dreamers who shared their personal stories at a news conference at Harold Washington Community College.

“It was 16 years ago – in 2001 – that I first introduced the Dream Act to give undocumented students who grew up in this country a chance to earn their citizenship,” Durbin said. “It hasn’t become a law, but the Dream Act has produced a movement of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants across this country. They came to the United States as children. They are American in every way, except for their immigration status.  They go to school with our kids, and they are giving back to their communities as teachers, nurses, engineers, and soldiers—yet they find themselves at risk of deportation to countries they barely remember. I’ll do everything in my power as a United States Senator to protect these Dreamers and give them the chance to become American citizens so they can contribute to a brighter future for all Americans.”

The Dream Act, which Durbin introduced last week with U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), would allow these young people to earn lawful permanent residence and eventually American citizenship if they:

·         Are longtime residents who came to the U.S. as children;

·         Graduate from high school or obtain a GED;

·         Pursue higher education, work lawfully for at least three years, or serve in the military;

·         Pass security and law enforcement background checks and pay a reasonable application fee;

·         Demonstrate proficiency in the English language and a knowledge of United States history; and

·         Have not committed a felony or other serious crimes and do not pose a threat to our country.

A one-pager of the Dream Act is available here.  A section-by-section of the Dream Act is available here.