New Dream Act bill gives young undocumented immigrants new hope

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Mitzi Castro is a dreamer who has lived in Arizona since she was a year old. Castro is a little skeptical about the latest immigration proposal. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Mitzi Castro is a dreamer who has lived in Arizona since she was a year old. Castro is a little skeptical about the latest immigration proposal. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Marc Spencer works with the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch. He said the current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Program, also called DACA, violates federal law by giving young immigrants temporary legal status. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Marc Spencer works with the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch. He said the current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Program, also called DACA, violates federal law by giving young immigrants temporary legal status. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Texas and nine other states have threatened to sue the federal government if the Trump Administration continues to give temporary legal status to undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.

In attempt to preempt a federal lawsuit, some U.S. senators on both sides of the aisle are looking to end the dreamer debate once and for all.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced new Dream Act legislation this week.

The 2017 Dream Act would create a pathway to citizenship for thousands of immigrants brought to the country as young children.

Mitzi Castro is a dreamer who has lived in Arizona since she was a year old. Castro is a little skeptical about the latest immigration proposal.

"I want to be excited. I think a lot of dreamers want to be excited about it," said Castro. "It seems as if they're just playing with us -- our emotions and our lives and it doesn't feel good."

The 2017 Dream Act is similar to legislation that almost passed in 2010.

To be eligible, immigrants must:

  • have been 17 or younger when they arrived in the U.S.
  • have graduated from high school or have a GED
  • pass a criminal background check
  • pass an English proficiency test.

Marc Spencer works with the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch. He said the current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Program, also called DACA, violates federal law by giving young immigrants temporary legal status.

Spencer wants federal authorities to either enforce the law or Congress should change the law.

"At a point in time women couldn't vote -- change the law. It was a great change," said Spencer. "There was a time when 18-year-olds couldn't vote. Change the law. The law needs to adapt with what the culture wants it to do."

It is unclear whether or not there's enough support in Congress to pass the 2017 Dream Act and no indication whether President Trump would sign it.

State officials opposed to DACA are demanding that the federal government start phasing out the program by Sept. 5 or face a possible lawsuit.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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