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Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin Introduces Fifth version of the DREAM Act

The controversial bill would allow illegal immigrants to compete with U.S. citizens and legal residents for financial aid.

This is an update to one of the on Elmhurst Patch.

Congress has its hands full with many important issues to tackle during this lame duck session. Many of these bills will affect many Americans one way or the other. One bill, which evokes anger, hope and a plethora of other emotions for many, is the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. This is the controversial immigration bill that would grant illegal immigrants access to the federal student financial aid and work study programs.

During his recent election campaign, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., promised to bring the bill up for debate, and open-borders advocates had been pressuring him to keep his promise. This week he did just that.

On Tuesday evening, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., surprised everyone with the introduction of Senate Bill 3992, the fifth version of the DREAM Act this year. This is the fourth version of the bill since Sept. 29. However, the bill still faces many obstacles for passage.

For starters, Republicans have stated that they want to first focus on passing a budget and deciding whether to extend Bush-era tax cuts before taking on any other issues. Furthermore, Senate Republicans still overwhelmingly oppose the bill, which would allow, among other things, illegal aliens to compete with the neediest U.S. citizens and legal residents for jobs under the federal work study program.

President Barack Obama sent the following tweet Wednesday: "If you agree that passing the DREAM Act is the right thing to do, call your senators and urge them to pass this bill."

Advocates and opponents agree that the act has little chance of passing during the upcoming congress, when the Republicans will control the House of Representatives. Therefore, it's only hope of passage is during this lame duck session, which ends in three weeks.

NoDreamAct December 02, 2010 at 05:05 PM
Dick Durbin now says Dream Act will require ILLEGALs to pay out-of-state tuition. Doesn't the Dream Act immediately grant conditional permanent residency which would make illegals legal. They have not posted the new bill and I am suscpicious.
Steve Johnson December 02, 2010 at 05:25 PM
How are DREAM Act applicants competing for financial aid when all they can receive are loans they have to pay back? The latest version that is going to be the one voted on would bar illegal immigrants from receiving in-state college tuition; drops the age of eligibility to 29 from 34; would not grant permanent legal status to anyone for at least 10 years; would restrict eligibility for those who commit certain misdemeanor crimes; and would limit individuals from being able to sponsor family members for U.S. citizenship, among other changes. Those who receive conditional legal status under the DREAM Act also would be ineligible for Medicaid, food stamps and other government-funded benefits.
Steve Johnson December 02, 2010 at 05:27 PM
As an independent, these conservative attacks on young persons who were brought here as children is disheartening and serves to create racial tensions and xenophobia. I would prefer a deeper discussion on solutions because the DREAM Act is a step in the right direction. America should lead on this issue.
Frank Medina December 02, 2010 at 05:55 PM
@ Steve, Why mislead the readers? Illinois and 9 other states already allow illegal aliens to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities and this bill would do nothing to change that. When thousands of Illinois students were dropping out of college because they had lost funding through the Illinois monetary award program (MAP), we were offering discounted tuition to illegal aliens; a benefit not available to out of state US citizens, many who are veterans, legal residents and, international students legally in the US. Furthermore, the national student loan default rate is at about 7% right now and is expected to continue increasing due to the recession and the record level of unemployment rates. The DREAM Act does not specify which courses a student needs to take. Therefore, DREAMers taking courses in bowling, basket weaving and proper net-iquette can be eligible for a green card and as long as that adds up to the equivalent of two years of college. How will they be able to pay back loans when they don't have the proper skills for a job? Durbin realized the problem with this and so he also proposed removing the five year bar on welfare benefits for illegal aliens who'd legalize their status through this bill. If they were going to be as productive as he claims they would be, why would they need welfare benefits sooner than current legal residents can access them?
Frank Medina December 02, 2010 at 06:02 PM
@ Steve, nothing in the article mentions race, cultures, etc. In fact, you're the one inserting those issues into this particular discussion. I've seen it before. It's the common tactic used by advocates for amnesty for illegal aliens in order to silence any real debate on the issue. How can you expect us to believe that you prefer a deeper discussion on the topic when in the same paragraph you are inserting the very tensions that you know will stifle such debate? What is so wrong about mentioning facts such as that the neediest US citizens and legal residents would have to compete directly with illegal aliens for jobs under the work study program.I didn't make that up. It's exactly what Dick Durbin wants and planted in the bill. Should americans not know what is in legislation that affects them all? What do you have against wanting people to follow our laws?

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