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What is the DREAM Act?

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Quick Answer

The DREAM Act is legislation that provides immigrant students the opportunity to apply for temporary legal status and eventually become eligible for U.S. citizenship, according to the National Immigration Law Center. The DREAM Act applies to immigrant students who grow up in the United States.

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Full Answer

The DREAM Act is bipartisan legislation that applies to immigrant students who serve in the U.S. military or attend college, regardless if their parents have permanent status or are undocumented, according to the National Immigration Law Center. The DREAM Act also eliminates any federal stipulations that penalize states providing in-state tuition for immigrant students based on immigration status. Students who arrive in the United States by the age of 15 or younger five years before the DREAM Act is enacted and those who maintain what the government defines as good moral character may qualify for conditional permanent resident status once they graduate from high school or obtain acceptance into college.

Immigrant students convicted of crimes or those who pose a security risk do not qualify for eligibility under the bill's legislation. To become eligible for permanent status or qualify to apply for citizenship under the DREAM Act, immigrant students must graduate from college; study at a college or university for at least two years; or serve in the U.S. military for at least two years, according to the National Immigration Law Center.

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