The DREAM Act would create a path to legal status for undocumented minors who arrived before the age of 16, if they graduate from high school and complete two years of college or serve in the military within a six-year period. It’s not going to pass before the November elections, though supporters are holding a “DREAM University teach-in” across from the White House.
But if it ever does, only 38 percent of young immigrants are likely to benefit, predicts a study by the Migration Policy Institute. Most won’t meet the education hurdles, reports Education Week.
Many of the undocumented immigrants who it seems could be beneficiaries of the DREAM Act don’t have a high school education and have such limited English that it would be hard for them to be admitted to college or serve in the military, the researchers in the study conclude. One of the criteria for getting conditional legalization is having graduated from a U.S. high school. The researchers estimate that only about 825,000, or 38 percent, of the 2.1 million potential beneficiaries would eventually attain legal status.
Of course, young students might work harder in school, if they knew academic competence was a path to legalization. But the alternative path — marriage to a citizen or legal resident — may seem easier.