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What is the DREAM Act?
The Dream Act is a proposed legislation that would pave a path for citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States before the age of 16. DREAM Act-eligible youth would be granted a temporary legal status in exchange for two years of serving in the military or attending college. Currently, undocumented youth, many who came to the U.S. as small children, have no other legal path to citizenship, are not eligible for federal financial aids and cannot attend public universities in some states.
Many Dream Act-eligibly youth came to the United States as children, completed a K-12 education, and have little to no connection to their country of origin. Most identify as Americans. The problem for undocumented youth, however, is that most states do not permit in-state tuition or financial aid for college. Some states outright ban undocumented immigrants from public universities. And those who are able to earn a college degree, are often trapped into low-wage jobs because they lack a Social Security number.
Read the stories of two undocumented North Carolina women who pushed to get the DREAM Act passed in 2010, as well as the voices of educators and experts leading up to the 2010 vote.
DREAM Act resources: