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1 in 4 undocumented students would qualify under Dream Act

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Congress has long considered legislation that would grant permanent residency to undocumented college students. A new study shows California has the largest proportion of people who’d qualify.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California cosponsored the Dream Act back in 2003. The measure grants temporary residency to undocumented high school graduates and permanent residency to those who complete at least two years of college.

Barack Obama supported that idea when he ran for president, saying it's "very important is to pass the Dream Act which allows children who, through no fault of their own are here, but have essentially grown up as Americans, allow them the opportunity for higher education."

A new study by the Migration Policy Institute shows one in four of those undocumented students lives in California. But the study also shows just over a third of young illegal immigrants would qualify – either because English skills aren’t good enough for a higher education or because economics push many young immigrants into the workforce.

The Dream Act has 39 cosponsors in the Senate.