A University of Cincinnati student, described by an administrator as having once-in-a-decade talent in information technology, faces a May 20 hearing in immigration court in Buffalo, N.Y., that could lead to his deportation.
Elier Lara, 19, was brought to the United States legally at age 4 from Mexico by his parents. They overstayed their 180-day non-immigrant visa. If deported, Lara would face a 10-year ban before being allowed to reapply for entry.
The DREAM Act (acronym for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) is an American legislative proposal first introduced in the Senate on August 1, 2001 and most recently re-introduced there and the United States House of Representatives on March 26, 2009. A Senate filibuster blocked it on December 18, 2010.
This bill would provide conditional permanent residency to certain illegal and deportable alien students who graduate from US high schools, who are of good moral character, arrived in the U.S. legally or illegally as minors, and have been in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill's enactment. If they were to complete two years in the military or two years at a four year institution of higher learning, the students would obtain temporary residency for a six year period. Within the six year period, a qualified student must have "acquired a degree from an institution of higher education in the United States or [have] completed at least 2 years, in good standing, in a program for a bachelor's degree or higher degree in the United States," or have "served in the armed services for at least 2 years and, if discharged, [have] received an honorable discharge." Military enlistment contracts require an eight year commitment, with active duty commitments typically between four and six years, but as low as two years. "Any alien whose permanent resident status is terminated [according to the terms of the Act] shall return to the immigration status the alien had immediately prior to receiving conditional permanent resident status under this Act