Equity & Diversity

Immigration Measure Would Ease Path to Citizenship for DREAMERs

By Lesli A. Maxwell — April 24, 2013 1 min read
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From Politics K-12 blogger Alyson Klein

K-12 education overhaul may be on the back burner in Congress these days, but immigration reform sure isn’t. And there are obviously big implications in a new, widely anticipated bipartisan Senate bill for students who come to the United States as children without documentation and graduate from American high schools. (Many call themslves “DREAMers” after the DREAM act, versions of which would grant them citizenship.)

The bill creates an arguably long and bumpy path to citizenship for those without documentation who came to the country in 2011 or before. But folks who came to the nation as children could go a much speedier route, provided they pass a criminal background check, graduate from high school (or get a GED), and complete two years of post-secondary education, or spend four years in the military, or other uniformed services.

“This version of the DREAM act is one of the most generous and inclusive to date,” said James Ferg-Cadima, a regional counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund in Washington. And he said the measure is particularly promising because “it’s housed within this larger package of reform.”

The much longer path to citizenship for folks who came to the country as adults has its own implications for education. To eventually become citizens, immigrants would have to pursue the study of English. (Very helpful graphic on the different paths here.)

Alyson has much more on the proposed immigration measure over at Politics K-12.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.