Press Release

May 12, 2011
Bill Will Help Immigrant Students Earn Path to Legal Status

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) has co-sponsored the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, along with Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and 30 other Senators.  This narrowly tailored bill would give undocumented students a chance to earn legal status if they came here as children, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, and complete two years of college or military service in good standing.

“This is a compassionate bill that recognizes that we should not hold innocent children responsible for the actions of their parents,” said Senator Cardin. “The DREAM Act is targeted legislation that addresses thousands of undocumented children who were brought to this country before the age of 16.  It provides a stringent pathway for young men and women who have graduated high school to give back to their adopted country and local communities through military service or to complete a higher education.”

In order to be eligible for the DREAM Act individuals must:

  • Have come to the U.S. as children (15 or under)
  • Be long-term U.S. residents (continuous physical presence for at least five years)
  • Have good moral character
  • Graduate from high school or obtain a GED
  • Complete two years of college or military service in good standing

In the 111th Congress, the DREAM Act passed the House and received a strong bipartisan support from 55 Senators.  The DREAM Act is supported by labor, business, education, civil rights and religious groups, including the AFL-CIO, the National PTA, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the CEOs of Fortune 100 companies like Microsoft and Pfizer, and dozens of colleges and universities.