Rep. Mark Steven Kirk (R-IL)

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I sent a letter to my congressman and this is what he sent back.

Thank you for contacting me regarding the American Dream Act. I appreciate hearing from you and understand your concerns on this issue.

In 1996, Congress passed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), Public Law 104-208. Section 505 of IIRIRA made unauthorized aliens ineligible for post secondary education benefits based on state residence, unless equal benefits were made available to all U.S. citizens regardless of state of residence.

On March 1, 2007, Representative Howard Berman (D-CA) introduced H.R. 1275, the American Dream Act. This legislation would cancel the removal of, and adjust to conditional permanent resident status for, those students that meet the specified criteria. To qualify, an illegal alien must enter the United States before his or her sixteenth birthday and be present in the United States for at least five years before the bill becomes law. The alien must also have been admitted to an institution of higher education, or have earned a high school or equivalent diploma. Finally, following the age of sixteen, the alien must not have committed a crime against Americans or be subject to exclusion, deportation, or removal.

The legislation leaves it up to the states to determine if the illegal aliens are eligible for lower instate education benefits or be charged rates that are already levied against out-of-state American citizen students. H.R. 1275 was referred to the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness, where it awaits further action. I will monitor this legislation closely with your thoughts in mind.

Thank you for contacting me on this important issue. Please feel free to visit my website at or contact me again should any other issues of importance to you come before the Congress.

Representative Mark Kirk has voted in favor of amnesty for illegal aliens.

Representative Mark Kirk has voted against giving illegal aliens further rewards and other incentives to come such as in-state tuition, educational benefits, welfare and health care services.

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