>Undocumented students are protesting outside the White House today, risking deportation in order to promote legislation that would provide an avenue to permanent residency for children whose parents brought them into the country illegally.
The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, versions of which have been batted around Congress since 2001, would offer conditional permanent residency to high-school graduates who have been in the U.S. for at least five years. Those attaining this status would be allowed to work, go to school, or serve in the military for up to six years. Once they complete two years in a bachelor's degree program or serve as much in the military, they would be granted lawful permanent residency.
Since it was first introduced in 2001, the bill has seen support from Republican senators such as Orrin Hatch, Chuck Hagel, Kay Bailey Hutchison, John Cornyn, John McCain, and Richard Lugar. But as political tensions on immigration have mounted throughout the country -- the Arizona law and Utah list being the most recent examples -- Senate Republicans have become more skittish about voting for anything that an attack ad could slap with an "amnesty" label.