While many hope to pursue higher education, join the military, or enter the workforce, their lack of legal status places those dreams in jeopardy and exposes them to deportation.
Over the last decade, there has been growing bipartisan consensus that Congress should provide legal immigration status for young adults who came to the country as children and graduated from American high schools.
As the current political environment has become more polarized, bipartisan support for the DREAM Act has waned. In recent months, much attention has been focused on an as yet undisclosed proposal from Sen.
Recently, however, more narrow proposals have circulated that either restrict eligibility for permanent residency to a smaller group of young people or offer no dedicated path to permanent residency (and, eventually, U. Marco Rubio (R-FL) that would reportedly offer temporary legal status for undocumented high-school graduates but no dedicated path to permanent residency. David Rivera (R-FL) introduced the ARMS Act, which would require military service as a condition for obtaining permanent resident status. Rivera also introduced the STARS Act, which would permit undocumented students to become permanent residents if they complete a four-year degree, provided that they were generally under the age of 19 at the time of application.
The federal government discharged more than $43 million in student loan debt for former students of recently closed for-profit colleges.
Students who attended programs operated by Education Corporation of America, Dream Center Education Holdings, Vatterott College and Charlotte School of Law will be able to qualify for a full discharge of their federal loans if they were enrolled when their college closed or withdrew within 120 days of the official closure date and didn’t transfer to another institution, according to Inside Higher Education.
During the five year extension, beneficiaries may have their status adjusted to that of a permanent resident.
Meanwhile, the STARS proposal limits eligibility to individuals who are 19 or younger at the time they apply (or 21 if under an order of voluntary departure received before the age of 19).
Since 2001, when the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act was first introduced as bipartisan legislation, its main provision—providing permanent resident status (i.e.
a “green card”) upon completion of two years of college or service in the military—has held out hopes of a lasting solution for these young people.