Updated Estimates of the 2010 DREAM Act
In 2010, based on changes to the DREAM Act legislation pending in Congress, MPI issued revised total and state-level estimates of the unauthorized youth and young adults who might be eligible for conditional legal status, updating its earlier DREAM vs. Reality policy brief. The legislation adopted by the House would extend eligibility for conditional nonimmigrant status to those under age 30 who were brought to the United States before the age of 16, who have resided in the country for at least the last five years, and have obtained a U.S. high school diploma or its equivalent.
According to this updated analysis, slightly more than 1.9 million unauthorized youth and young adults would meet the age, time in country, and age-at-arrival requirements for conditional legal status under the latest versions of the legislation. MPI estimates that only about 755,000—or 38 percent—of those 1.9 million unauthorized immigrants would likely satisfy the DREAM Act’s postsecondary or military requirements to obtain legal permanent status.
The five states in which most potential DREAM Act beneficiaries reside are California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Arizona, in that order.