Join pilgrimage for Dream Act on April 29
Updated: September 5, 2012 1:35PM
When you see the word “Dreamer,” what do you think of?
Do you think of a person who daydreams a lot? Or, do you think of the dreamers in the Bible, like St. Joseph and the Magi, who received messages from God in their dreams?
In this article, I want to tell you about some other dreamers. They were brought to the United States by their parents as children. It was their parent’s choice, not theirs, to come here. Now they have grown up and gone to school here. Some are in high school, others are in college. They speak English and are indistinguishable from other kids except for one fact — they lack legal status here. They are undocumented. They are subject to being deported to the country where they were born, a country they may know only vaguely, and to being barred from returning to the U.S. for at least 10 years.
What do they dream of? They dream of a process to obtain legal status here, a green card (legal permanent resident status). They dream for the passage of the federal DREAM Act.
Their dream is not for amnesty. Instead, the DREAM Act is very narrowly written to provide a hard-earned way to obtain lawful status. Some of the requirements are:
being younger than 16 when they were brought here and younger than 30 when the DREAM Act becomes law;
having lived in the U.S. for five years prior to the Act’s passage;
demonstrating evidence of good moral character; and having been admitted to a U.S. institution of higher education;
earned a high school diploma or GED in the U.S.
In addition, they must attend two years of college or serve for two years in the military. They then remain in Conditional Nonimmigrant Status, meaning they must continue to demonstrate good moral character and other requirements, for at least 10 years before they will be eligible to apply for legal permanent residence.
Do you share their dream? Support passage of the federal DREAM Act.
To learn more, visit archchicago.org/immigration and watch the video “God will never leave a DREAMER.”
Save the Date: From 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 29, for the Inter-Parish Pilgrimage for the Dream Act. For more information, go to: archchicago.org/justicemonth/vicariate4.htm.
St. Luke Peace & Justice Committee