As November elections neared in 2010, the Democratic supporters of the immigration reform bill known as the Dream Act kicked into high gear, pushing it toward an eventual vote in the House and Senate that December.
The bill proposed conditional legal status for qualifying young people who arrived in the U.S. under age 16, provided they go to college or join the military. It didn't go anywhere in 2010, but as November nears and both major parties fight for Latino votes, expect the Democratic-backed bill to figure prominently again, along with a few stripped-down mutations as Republican lawmakers formulate alternative proposals.
How many "Dream Acts" are there? Here's the original plus a growing list of alternatives:
1) The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act: This is the original proposal last voted on in 2010. Various versions have come and gone since 2001. Originally a bipartisan proposal, its initial Republican backers have since dropped off. The bill failed to clear a Senate vote in December 2010, but a similar version was reintroduced last year by Senate Democrats. The bill would grant conditional legal status and a path to citizenship to undocumented young people who were brought to the U.S. before age 16, so long as they attend college or join the military and meet other criteria. The proposed age cap for applicants is 35.