Thank you for contacting me regarding the Developmental, Relief, and Education Act for Alien Minors (the DREAM Act). I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.
I firmly believe one of the most important things this country offers is educational opportunity. Children who have worked hard in school and have not been involved in any criminal or other bad behavior should be permitted to become educated, productive citizens of this country.
Under the DREAM Act, undocumented students must meet certain criteria including earning a high school diploma or GED, residing in the United States for at least five years, passing criminal and security clearances and entering the U.S. before the age of 16 to be eligible to begin the naturalization process. Subsequently, within six years they must complete two years of higher education or two years service in the military before they have the chance to receive legal permanent residency.
Many of these children are law-abiding individuals who have excelled academically in school and were brought to this country as small children. They have always considered the United States to be their home and have limited connections to any other country.
I am committed to working on a long-term solution to our immigration problem and to better assure our nation's security. I appreciate hearing your position on this issue, and I will keep your views in mind as the Congress confronts this and other immigration issues in the future.