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Side by Side Comparison of the Senate and the Obama Dream Act
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Side by Side Comparison of the Senate and the Obama Dream Act

July 15, 2012, 4:36 pm
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Side by Side Comparison of the Senate and the Obama Dream Act
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Although the Obama's Dream Act gives some urgently needed relief, it does not provide Dreamers with a "path to citizenship"

The Real Dream Act

It was Democrats Senators Richard Durbin, Harry Reid, and Robert Menendez that re-introduced the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. Last fall, the DREAM Act passed the House of Representatives, and garnered the support of a majority in the Senate, but was ultimately defeated when the Senate failed to invoke cloture and proceed to debate. The sponsors of the DREAM Act hope to build on last year’s momentum and continue to highlight the importance of fully utilizing the talent and potential of thousands of young people who are Americans in every way but their birth certificates.

Obama seeing that the Republican party has done everything in their power to make passage of the dream act in Congress a near impossibility has take charge and has used his executive power to bring this much need temporary relief for over one million youths.



Senate’s Version of the Dream Act Obama’s Version of the Dream Act
1 Have proof of having arrived in the United States before age 16.   Must have come to the US under age 16 but must be at least 15 years of age when they apply.
(if you are fourteen now and the process is still around in two years, then you could apply as long as you meet the education and five years residence requirement).
2 Have proof of residence in the United States for a least five consecutive years since their date of arrival,   has continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and is present in the United States on the date of this memorandum (June 15);
3 Be between the ages of 12 and 35 at the time of bill enactment.   Is under the age of thirty one on June 15, 2012.
4 Have graduated from an American high school or obtained a GED.   is currently in school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a general education development certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States
5 Be of "good moral character"  

has not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat to national security or public safety; and

How it Works
6 A path to U.S. citizenship.   No path to U.S. citizenship
7 subject to background check (biometrics and background)   subject to background check (biometrics and background)
8 "conditional" legal status granted during the first six years   Safe from seportation . Employment Authorization Documents for 2 years with renewal possible.
9 Mustgraduate from a two-year community college or complete at least two years towards a 4-year degree, or serve two years in the U.S. military.  

Will be granted deferred action, a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion.

10 After the six year period, would be eligible to apply for legal permanent resident status   May be granted travel permission
11 During this six year conditional period, these students would not be eligible for federal higher education grants such as Pell grants, but they would be able to apply for student loans and work study   Individuals who are in removal proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review, ICE will, in the coming weeks, announce the process by which qualified individuals may request a review of their case
12 If the youth did not meet the educational or military service requirement within the six year time period, their temporary residence would be revoked and they would be removable (deportable).  

The grant of deferred action under this new directive does not provide an individual with permanent lawful status or a pathway to obtaining permanent lawful status. Only the Congress, acting through its legislative authority, can confer the right to permanent lawful status.


They must not commit any crimes other than those considered non-drug related misdemeanors. Being convicted of a felony or drug-related infraction would automatically remove the six year temporary residence status and they would be subject to deportation.

  An individual subject to a final order of removal who can demonstrate that he or she meets the eligibility criteria can request a review of his or her case and receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. All cases will be considered on an individualized basis.
14 If the youth met all of these requirements at the completion of the 6-year conditional period, they would be granted permanent residency, and eventually will be eligible for U.S. citizenship    

To learn more about the Dream Act go to:

Attorney with over 35 years of experience. Past president Federal Bar Association NJ Chapter (1997-2002). Offices in New York, NY, Newark, NJ. Tel: 888-460-1800 and
Apsan Law Offices
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Side by Side Comparison of the Senate and the Obama Dream Act
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