Senator Proposes Adding Graduation Requirement to Dream Act

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, one of the more conservative Democrats in the Senate, is proposing that the Dream Act toughen educational requirements.

According to reports by the Los Angeles Times, Sen. Machin's proposal involves adding an amendment that would prevent Dreamers access to the immigration bill's expedited five-year path to permanent legal status until they graduate from an institution of higher learning. If they do not graduate, Dreamers will be placed on the same 10-year path as most other immigrants.

During an interview, Manchin commented on his amendment proposal saying, "If you’re asking to accelerate the process, then you have to make a commitment and complete something."

Immigration advocates believe this amendment would only create an additional hurdle for these young immigrants. Many Dreamers work so they often take much longer to finish college. Advocates say that this will force them to attend two-year institutions and leave them with the tough decision of choosing between gaining full legal status and pursuing an education.