Will the ARMS Act lay groundwork for the DREAM act?
In 2010 the House of Representatives passed a bill called the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) which allowed minor children of undocumented immigrants to obtain conditional permanent residency if they had lived for five continuous years here, were of good moral character, and graduated from a U.S. high school. The bill passed the House but failed to pass the Senate.
At the end of January, 2012 Representative David Rivera of Miami, Florida introduced a compromised version of the DREAM ACT that would allow minors of undocumented immigrants who serve in the military to obtain permanent residency. The bill is called the Adjusted Residency for Military Service Act - the ARMS Act.
According to an article in the Miami Herald, Rep Rivera thought this version of immigration reform had a chance of passing both the House and the Senate because both GOP candidates, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, indicated they would support immigration reform for those serving in the military. The strategy behind this legislation proposal was twofold:
- To re-position immigration reform which had fallen away as a legislative priority and had recently taken a back seat to other issues such as jobs, the economy, and education
- To advance immigration reform through a more gradual approach, taking one step at a time, rather than trying to pass extensive reform all in one piece of legislation
If you have immigration concerns, consult a skilled New York immigration lawyer and find out about your options.