Last night Senator Durbin introduced a new version of the DREAM Act with a number of changes presumably included to satisfy fence sitters who felt that the bill needed to be further restricted. I've summarized the latest version of the bill which you can find below. Feel free to email me (email@example.com) if you catch things needing editing.
Note a couple of big changes -
- eligibility age dropped from 35 to 30 years old
- expansion of grounds of ineligibility to include public charge and health grounds
- new civics and English testing requirement
- proof of payment of all back taxes
- elimination of repeal of in state tuition ban
- ten year conditional nonimmigrant status then three years of permanent residency before naturalization eligibility (as opposed to six years of conditional immigrant status followed by eligibility to naturalize)
There are a number of other changes as well, but these are the ones likely to grab headlines.
The Republicans are threatening to filibuster this bill as well as Don't Ask Don't Tell and an unemployment benefits extension if they don't get their way on extending the Bush tax cuts. So we will likely have to wait to see if that matter is resolved.
Nevertheless, while the changes made are tough concessions, they hopefully indicate that more votes are on the way. For example, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison indicated she was a no vote based on the previous version of the DREAM bill. Hopefully, these new changes will mean she's ready to vote yes.