A Representative from Southern Florida has introduced an alternative to the DREAM Act in the U.S. House. Representative David Rivera introduced the "Studying Towards Adjusted Residency Status Act" In the U.S. House last Wednesday. Many people in South Florida know that the DREAM Act generally proposes to create a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants who intend to pursue an education in the U.S. or serve in the military.
The STARS Act has now been offered as an alternative to the DREAM Act under U.S. immigration and naturalization law. The STARS Act also includes a potential pathway through permanent residency to eventual U.S. citizenship.
Under the STARS Act proposal, undocumented immigrants under the age of 19 would be able to seek to apply for a nonimmigrant visa if the young immigrant entered the U.S. before the age of 16.
Young immigrants seeking a visa under the program would have to show "good moral conduct" and gain acceptance from a U.S. college. The STARS Act visa would remain valid for five years, while the student remains in college. After graduation, the proposal would allow the young immigrant to apply for a five-year visa renewal.
Earlier this year, this blog discussed the immigration plight of a Columbian born valedictorian in Miami. Student protests over the valedictorian's immigration battle reportedly gained the attention of lawmakers, including several in Florida. The young woman eventually won a three-year suspension of deportation. Her case reportedly inspired a Florida Representative in the U.S House to draft the STARS ACT.
Marco Rubio continues to work on his own version of an alternative to the DREAM Act. However, his proposal has not been finalized. Sources say that Rubio's alternative is not expected to include a path to citizenship for young immigrants who pursue education in the U.S.
Source: FOX News Latino, "Florida Pol Introduces GOP Alternative to DREAM Act (And It's Not Marco Rubio)," Roque Planas, May 31, 2012