South Florida Congressman David Rivera has filed a measure billed as an alternative to the DREAM Act, seeking to provide for certain college students who are in the country illegally to get “conditional non-immigrant status”, reports the News Service of Florida.
Rivera, a Republican from Miami, cited the case of Daniela Pelaez, a Colombian whose family overstayed their visas when she was four, leaving her as an illegal immigrant facing deportation. Pelaez is set to graduate as North Miami High’s valedictorian next week, and has a full scholarship to Dartmouth. Rivera is calling his bill the Studying Toward Adjusted Residency Status Act, or STARS. “The STARS Act would allow undocumented students who arrived here at a young age, graduated from high school and are accepted into a university, to apply for a five-year conditional non-immigrant status,” Rivera said in a statement. “During that five year period, they can focus on their college education and once they graduate, have their conditional status extended and work toward achieving residency. This legislation can make the American dream a reality for young people like Daniela, who through no fault of their own, are prevented from realizing their full potential in this land of opportunity.”