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Dream Act

What the DREAM Act Could Do For Immigrants in NY and New Jersey

Pending legislation finally could bring immigrants out of the shadows

We at the law firm of Bretz & Coven, LLP are not alone in voicing the need for comprehensive immigration reform in the United States and decrying the lack of congressional action on the subject. For years now, legislation that could bring millions of undocumented immigrants out of the shadows has remained stalled in Congress as repeated efforts to revisit it are stymied. The DREAM Act finally would create a path to citizenship for many of the immigrants living among us who have become valued and contributing members of our societybut could not gain legal status in the United States. While recent moves by the Obama administration have helped to address the problem, a true solution ultimately must come from our legislators.

What is the DREAM Act?

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act finally would create a viable path to citizenship for immigrants in the United States who entered the country as children. The DREAM Act would allow those who meet the following requirements to apply for conditional legal status and work authorization in the United States:

  • Currently under the age of 30
  • Entered the country before turning 16
  • Have lived in the United States continuously for five years
  • Currently in school, have graduated high school or have served honorably in the military
  • Have not been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors

These requirements are essentially the same as those under deferred action, a recent immigration reform that gives certain non-citizens work authorization and temporary protection from deportation. How the DREAM Act differs is that after six years of conditional legal status, DREAMers would have the opportunity to apply for an adjustment of status to that of lawful permanent resident after showing that they have either attended college or served in the military for at least two years. Plus of course, DREAMers who receive their green cards in this manner ultimately could participate in the citizenship process.

Why Congress should pass the DREAM Act

The benefits that the DREAM Act would present to qualifying individuals currently in the country are obvious. The United States would also benefit by allowing the best and brightest of our immigrant neighbors to become full participants in American society. This sharply would decrease the types of crime and abuse that frequently become rampant among those forced to live on the fringes of society. Nevertheless, Congress continues to ignore this important issue. However with continued advocacy and pressure on our legislators, the DREAM Act may become a reality in the near future.

Contact us to learn what recent immigration reforms mean for you

Until Congress finally moves to pass the DREAM Act, our attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP are committed to helping immigrants in NY take full advantage of the other immigration programs that are available. Contact our experienced immigration lawyers in New York City today at 1 (212) 267-2555 or online for creative solutions to your complex immigration problems.  For an office appointment in Metro Park, New Jersey, call 1 (732) 313-0075.

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