THE DREAM ACT

 

 

 


Background

 

There is a long history of the struggle for a right to an education for undocumented children and young adults:

 

1982: The Supreme Court Rules in Plyler v. Doe that undocumented children have the right to attend public school, from kindergarten up to high school graduation

 

1996: The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act is passed. It prohibits the distribution of financial aid or tuition assitance for college to undocumented students.

 

2001: The DREAM Act is introduced for the first time by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT). It did not make it past the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

2003: The DREAM Act is passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee (16-3)

 

2004: The DREAM Act does not make it onto the floor for a vote. Some say this was because the issue was too controversial during the presidential election.

 

2005: The DREAM Act is reintroduced. Barrack Obama is the main sponsor.

 

2006: The DREAM Act was added as an amendment to an Immigration Reform Act and passed. However, a minority in the House who oppose it have kept it from coming to the floor for a vote.

 

2007: Although it was included in comprehensive immigration legislation, it did not pass the Senate.

 

Over the past few years, there has been an increase in support for the DREAM Act by both Senate and House members.

 

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