La vida es sueño


Image by j valas images via Flickr

Each film in the Indocumentales Series has one thread in common: the hope for a better life.

This thread continues to unite undocumented children that are brought or sent here by their parents.  These children grow up in the United States, they learn English, watch American television and become a part of the American culture.  Most of them have no idea that they are considered “illegal” until they take the natural American step of thinking about their future and are shocked to learn their opportunities are suddenly very limited.  According to a New York Times article, “In 2008, about 65,000 illegal immigrants graduated from American high schools, but only 5 percent went on to college…”

In 2001 a bipartisan effort created the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act to help such children continue living their American dreams. The DREAM Act journey has just hit its ten year anniversary and there have been many amendments and changing sponsors throughout the years.  Here is a breakdown of the 2011 version from

  • The age cap for applicants, which was reduced to age 29 last year, has been bumped back up to 35 years of age or younger
  • The length of conditional legal status before applicants may obtain permanent legal resident status has been reduced to six years, as in an earlier version, from 10 years
  • This version would, as did an earlier version (but not the House-approved one), seek to repeal a ban on in-state tuition rates for beneficiaries
The 2010 DREAM Act passed in the House but was not approved in the Senate with a final vote of  55-41.  Determined more than ever, undocumented students and supporters vow to keep fighting to make the DREAM a reality.
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