The DREAM Act (short for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act) was a bill in Congress that would have granted legal status to certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and went to school here. In the last few years the term “DREAMer” has been used to describe young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, who have lived and gone to school here, and who in many cases identify as American. The term DREAMer originally took its name from the bill in Congress, but it has a double meaning about the undocumented youth who have big hopes and dreams for a better future. The bill has been reintroduced several times, including a big push in 2010 but it failed to pass. Critics contend that it would reward undocumented individuals and encourage more of it, inviting fraud and shielding gang members from deportation. Supporters on the other hand Supporters argue that the Act would not create an amnesty program and would, in fact, produce a variety of social and economic benefits.
The DREAM Act is common-sense legislation drafted by both Republicans and Democrats that gives students who grew up in the United States a chance to contribute to our country’s well-being by serving in the U.S. armed forces or pursuing a higher education. It’s good for our economy, our security, and our nation. That’s why the DREAM Act has long enjoyed bipartisan support. It’s limited, targeted legislation that will allow only the best and brightest young people to earn their legal status after a rigorous and lengthy process, and applies to those brought to the United States as minors through no fault of their own by their parents, and who know no other home.