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DREAM Act continues to be a dream

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August 2010
DREAM Act continues to be a dream

In past years, the DREAM Act has come up for a vote several times and has garnered as many as 48 co-sponsors in the Senate and 152 in the House, yet it has failed to become law.  It passed the Senate Judiciary Committee twice, by a 16-3 vote in 2003-2004, and by a voice vote without dissent as an amendment to the comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) bill (S. 2611) in 2006.   After a similar CIR bill failed in 2007, the DREAM Act was considered as a stand-alone bill (S. 2205), which garnered a bi-partisan majority vote of 52-44 in the Senate, but failed to reach the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture.  The DREAM Act has never come up for a vote in the House of Representatives.  A variant of the DREAM Act is included in Comprehensive Immigration Reform ASAP (CIR ASAP), introduced by Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) in December 2009.

The DREAM Act addresses the plight of over 1.5 million, young undocumented immigrants growing up in the United States who wish to go to college and obtain lawful employment.  The bill allows current, former, and future undocumented high-school graduates and GED recipients a pathway to U.S. citizenship through college or the armed services.

DREAM Act-eligible immigrants live in all 50 states, but some states have far more potential beneficiaries than others.  The top ten states with the largest number of potential DREAM Act beneficiaries are California (26% of the national total), Texas (12%), Florida (9%), New York (7%), Arizona (5%), Illinois (4%), New Jersey (4%), Georgia (3%), North Carolina (2%), and Colorado (2%).  All other states combined are home to one-quarter of potential DREAM Act beneficiaries.

VISA PREFERENCE NUMBERS FOR AUGUST 2010

FAMILY              India                                    Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st                        01Aug05                                             01Aug05

2A                               01Mar09                                              01Mar09         

2B                               01Jan04                                               01Jan04

3rd                              01Jan02                                               01Jan02          

4th                               01Jun01                                               01Jun01

EMPLOYMENT     India                               Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st                         Current                                                Current

2nd                      01Mar06                                              Current

3rd                              01Jan02                                               01Jun04

Other                         01Jan02                                               15May02

4th                               Current                                                Current

5th                               Current                                                Current


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