Sometimes this Chicago DUI attorney has to give her clients bad news. She's posted here, here, and here about the intersection of criminal law and immigration. One of my clients can’t get a license until, and unless, the law of the land changes. It’s really not his fault he can’t get a license. He’s been in this country since he was wearing diapers.
While many of us struggle over the issue of undocumented folks, we really do need a different category to address people like my client.
Currently, there is a bill waiting to be passed that would address the hordes of people like my client.
The purpose of the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act, also called the DREAM Act, is to help those individuals who meet certain requirements, have an opportunity to enlist in the military or go to college and have a path to citizenship which they otherwise would not have without this legislation. Supporters of the DREAM Act believe it is vital not only to the people who would benefit from it, but also the United States as a whole. It would give an opportunity to undocumented immigrant students who have been living in the U.S. since they were young, a chance to contribute back to the country that has given so much to them and a chance to utilize their hard earned education and talents.
Would I qualify?
The following is a list of specific requirements one would need in order to qualify for the current version of the DREAM Act.
§ Must have entered the United States before the age of 16 (i.e. 15 and younger)
§ Must have been present in the United States for at least five (5) consecutive years prior to enactment of the bill
§ Must have graduated from a United States high school, or have obtained a GED, or have been accepted into an institution of higher education (i.e. college/university)
§ Must be between the ages of 12 and 35 at the time of application
§ Must have good moral character
My client asked me when the Dream Act will become a law. I told him soon, as I held up so he could see my crossed fingers.