Illinois Dream Act: The Facts

Update: The Illinois Dream Act was signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn on Monday August 1st, 2011. The ceremony took place in Chicago’s Benito Juarez High School, on the anniversary of the introduction of the federal legislation, also known as the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act.

This legislation makes Illinois the first state in the country to create a private scholarship fund for undocumented youth. It also eases the path to higher education for undocumented youth, 65% of whom come from households that earn 200% under the poverty line. The passage of the bill is an incredible victory that lays the foundation for other states to follow.

What will the IL DREAM Act do?

  1. Allows anyone with a taxpayer number, including undocumented students, to participate in the State Treasurer’s College Savings Pool and the Illinois Prepaid Tuition Plan. These programs allow families of Dream youths to plan ahead and invest and save for their children’s college education.
  2. High school college counselors are required to be better trained and prepared to know what college options are available for undocumented students and children of immigrants. This will ensure that undocumented students will receive correct information about opportunities available to them after high school. These trainings will be incorporated into existing trainings for counselors.
  3. Requires the IL Student Assistance Commission to establish an Illinois DREAM Fund Commission administered by volunteers of the State appointed by Governor Quinn. The IL DREAM Fund Commission will establish scholarships for qualified undocumented students. The scholarships will be funded entirely by private donors and contributions.

Who Qualifies?

In order to qualify for the benefits of the IL dream act, you must:

  1. Have resided with parents or guardians while attending high school in Illinois;
  2. Have attended a high school in Illinois for at least 3 years from the time of graduation or receiving the equivalent of a high school diploma (such as GED);
  3. Have at least one parent who immigrated to the United States.

Next Steps:

As of the date this blog was published, the IL Dream Act is not yet law. Once Governor Quinn signs the act into a law, he will appoint, with consent of the Senate, 9 members from diverse ethnic and geographic backgrounds to be responsible for administering the Dream Fund. The administrators’ responsibilities include raising funds for scholarships, selecting recipients of the scholarships, making sure everything in the Illinois Dream Act is implemented, and researching DREAM youths’ needs and progress through college.

Source: Full Text of IL DREAM Fund Commission, SB 2185

If you have anymore questions or if you would like to know if you qualify for the IL DREAM Act, please email us at alaa@iyjl.org or rigo@iyjl.org.

Editor’s Note: Please keep in mind that this bill is different from the Federal DREAM Act, particularly in that it does NOT provide a path for legalization for undocumented youth. As IYJL we are still working on this, but see the IL dream act as a step towards getting full rights for undocumented immigrants.

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Perez_zuly11 says:

Can’t believe people can be so close minded! I want to say something first, MEXICANS are not the only ones who come to this country ILLEGALLY. There is also GERMANS, ASIANS, IRISH, CANADIANS etc. Not only MEXICANS and people should do some background information before talking their minds off. Go and ask around and I bet they will be at least one INMIGRANT around your neighborhood and it will not be MEXICAN.

Jmanconus says:

GO TO SCHOOL WHERE U WERE BORN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jmanconus says:

I WOULD GLADLY GO BACK TO EUROPE  BUT I WOULD BE ILLEGAL  I FOLLOW AND RESPECT THE LAWS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jmanconus says:

TEACH ME HOW TO SAY    “GO HOME”  IN SPANISH

Jmanconus says:

I WOULD GET ARRESTED WAVING A US FLAG IN MEXICO..   ILLEGAL IS ILLEGAL

p.a.g1 says:

ohh wow! how many languages do you speak??? just so you know! most of the INVADERS speak and understand it very well! so stop being racist and hating!

Jf3rnando says:

I don’t know why everybody keeps calling USA America, when American is the whole continent, north America, centro America and south America.

o.O says:

gone to be ??? collage???
Dude before you actually move here to Illinois fix your English bro. haha

Naty :D says:

Exatcly! I know Español, English, and 日本語! Pleople need to understand that the U.S is a very diverse country with many cultures ANNDDD languages. I don’t understand why some Americans are racist when their family had to migrate to the U.S, because to be a true “American” you have to be a native American… SO for all those people that claim to b “True American” search your family history and maybe you will find out your parents or grandparents migrated here too.

...... says:

Hi. I live in Indiana, I’m gone be a junior this year and I really wanna go to collage. Can some one Answer this question? If I move this year to Illinois, Do you think I can qualify for the dream act? Please answer.

whitewave131 says:

Do Americans care that American guns are being wielded by violent cartels in Mexico? Do Americans care that NAFTA collapsed the Mexican agricultural economy to their benefit and that it has not yet recovered? Will Americans admit that without their country’s foreign economic policy towards Mexico, Mexico wouldn’t be “overpopulated” because it could actually sustain its population?

Oh yeah, many Americans do care. People like me.

whitewave131 says:

Spanish is actually the language spoken by the most countries in the Americas. Being bilingual increases your chances of financial success in this global economy. Arguing that we are “invaders” is an antiquated that won’t do you much good. American companies are crossing national borders to do more and more business. The question is: When are you going to learn Spanish? Maybe even some French would do you good.

P.S. I speak perfect English. (Hablo ingles perfecto. Je parle l’anglais parfait–et plus!)

Bullfighter11-11 says:

Do Mexicans care that most of the poor in the world live in the EASTERN hemisphere and would give their right arms to live in Mexico? Do Mexicans know that there are 125 countries in the world poorer than Mexico? Will Mexicans admit that there overpopulation of Mexico is their own fault?

Bullfighter11-11 says:

When are you INVADERS going to learn ENGLISH?

rosa says:

Felicito A Las Autoridades de Este Generoso Estado, sí Trata de los de resolución de problemática Con objetividad y realismo. El Futuro esta en los jovenes, y no ELLOS Justo Que era, despues de Haber Terminado SUS Estudios en la Escuela, despues de study y reconocer Este País de como Suyo, porqué aqui sí criaron, conocen la Historia de estados Unidos, El Hablan perfectamente ingles ; sí enfrenten Con Una pared (politica) Que no se les permita desarrollar SUS ambiciones de Seguir estudiando.
Hay MUCHOS jovenes, Futuros medicos, abogados, ingenieros, psciologos, en fin Futuros profesiomnales, Quienes Quieren Estudiar, ejercer el párrafo Estado en su. SIGNIFICA ESO y no Solamente mejorar la economia, sino tambien, elevar El Nivel de Profesionales, Lo Cual sí Refleja en la economia.
gracias