The cutesy title DREAM, which is meant to be a double-entendre, is an acronym for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors.
The DREAM Act would allow any illegal immigrant of any age who entered the United States before age 16 and has a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll in any state university and pay only the in-state tuition rate. Being an illegal immigrant is the prerequisite to getting this preferential treatment, which is denied to legal aliens with valid student visas.In-state tuition can amount to a taxpayer subsidy of up to $20,000 a year, depending on what the university charges students from the other 49 states. The illegal immigrant also becomes eligible for taxpayer-paid federal student loans and federal work-study programs, for which lawful foreign students are ineligible.
There is no upper age limit; any illegal immigrant is eligible for this preference by declaring he entered the U.S. illegally before his 16th birthday. The illegal immigrant doesn't have to prove when he entered the U.S.; he can simply make a sworn statement.
But that's not all. The illegal immigrant would be rewarded with conditional lawful permanent resident, green card, status, which can be converted to a non-conditional green card. The immigrant can use his new legal status to seek green cards for the parents who brought him into the United States.
The student has six years to convert his green card from conditional to non-conditional. He just needs to complete two years of study at a college or serve two years in the military, and if he has already had two years of college, he can convert his green card to non-conditional immediately.
The illegal immigrant who applies for the DREAM Act can count his years under conditional green card status toward the five years needed to attain citizenship. That's a fast track to citizenship that is not available to aliens who are lawfully present in the United States.
Section 4(f) provides that, once an illegal immigrant files an application, the government cannot deport him. A federal officer who shares with another federal agency any information on the illegal immigrant's application, such as admission of illegal entry, can be fined $10,000.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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