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What is the difference between the DREAM Act and DACA?

When it comes to immigration matters in the United States it is likely that many immigrants are hoping for the best. Some may have gotten their hopes up when the DREAM Act was first in the news. As time passes and action has not been taken, many may be getting discouraged while others may not understand what the DREAM Act even is. In this post we will provide information that may answer questions immigrants (and others) have regarding the matter.

The first thing to know is that the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act seeks to provide a route to citizenship for children who entered the United States without documentation but have grown up here. Despite having been in the mix for lawmakers dating back to 2001, thus far it has not passed at the federal level.

Second, while lawmakers at the federal level have not yet adopted a form of the DREAM Act, some states have gone ahead and passed their own versions. The specifics of these versions vary from state to state but they generally address things such as funding college education.

Next, in the states where a version of the act has passed many do not understand they way they work. While readers may not be surprised to hear that about students, the fact that financial aid counselors, admission officers and educators are often in the same situation could come as a shock. As a result, students need to be sure to advocate for themselves.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is not the same thing as the DREAM Act. Those who qualify for DACA can get a Social Security number, seek employment authorization and stay in the U.S. legally. There is not a possibility of residency or citizenship under the DACA however. While many may confused by the recent injection that put an expansion of DACA on hold, the portion already in place is not affected by that legal move.

Immigrants should not be embarrassed if they are confused by the state of immigration laws. They are clearly difficult to understand. In addition they seem to change fairly frequently. Accordingly, people should not be afraid to seek help from an immigration lawyer.

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