Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaii is among those who voted last night in favor of targeted legislation that would provide eligible undocumented students the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency. Under the bill, a student would have to complete two years at a four year institution or high learning, or serve two years in the U.S. Armed Forces.
The bill was passed in the U.S. House by a vote of 216 to 198. The legislation now advances to the U.S. Senate for further consideration.
“I have listened to numerous stories in Hawaii about young adults who came to the islands as children and are now facing the nightmare of deportation,” said Congresswoman Hirono. “The DREAM Act gives those undocumented young adults who work hard and meet the strict requirements the chance to become legal residents,” said Hirono.
Under the DREAM Act, an applicant who meets the outlined requirements would become a conditional nonimmigrant. Conditional status can if achieved if the applicant arrived in the U.S. as a minor, lived in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill’s enactment, graduated from high school or earned an equivalent certificate, and completed two years in the military or two years at a four year institution of higher learning.
“Our nation was founded on the powerful ideals of freedom and tolerance,” said Hirono. “These values still elude other nations to this day, which is why the American Dream endures in the minds of so many around the world. As an immigrant to this country myself, I know the power of that dream. That I could become a member of the People’s House shows that the dream can come true,” said Congresswoman Hirono.
*** If you enjoyed this post, you may also like our story on the recent renaming of a building on Maui in honor of the late Rep. Bob Nakasone.