The triumphs and trials of the DREAM Act

flagggThe federal government passed the DREAM Act in the June of last year and since then stories have been emerging of the triumphs and hardships of a number of the participants.  The DREAM Act allows the children of undocumented immigrants the chance to work toward getting a US visa without the fear of deportation.  Participants need to either commit to military service or complete college in the United States.

USA Today says that Jose Patino, a 24-year-old resident of Phoenix, received mail that confirmed that he had been given acceptance into the DREAM Act program and the following day received a work permit that he believed would assist him to achieve his dream of becoming an engineer.

However, Patino’s permit was for just two years, and with the great majority of companies not wanting to take on a temporary worker, he continues to find it difficult to find work.  Nor is Patino’s story uncommon, with many employers unwilling to deal with the two-year permit issue.

SF Gate has highlighted the case of Terrence Park, whose parents illegally entered the United States with him when he was just ten years old.  Park was allowed to apply for financial aid with the California DREAM Act when the time came for him to go to college.  The legislation allows students who are undocumented immigrants who came to the US before the age of 16 the chance to put in an application for college financial aid benefits, provided they meet GPA and in-state residency requirements, and attend school on a regular basis.