House passes controversial Dream Act

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The controversial Dream Act that would grant citizenship to students who were brough into the country illegal as children was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

It would help hundreds of thousands of foreign-born youngsters brought to the country illegally to gain legal status.

Senate Democratic leaders tried Wednesday to advance the legislation that would pave the way for legalizing the young immigrants, over opposition by most Republicans and several in their own party and succeeded.

The so-called Dream Act is a top priority of Democrats and politically active Hispanic groups, who call it a crucial down payment on a broader immigration overhaul. Critics regard the measure as backdoor amnesty for lawbreakers.

The Dream Act is now headed for review at the Senate.