The decision by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., to attach the DREAM Act — would allow some immigrant students to become legal residents — to the defense authorization bill has the support of different organizations.

The Association of International Educators, NAFSA, announced in a press release on Wednesday that it “applauds” Reid “for announcing a plan to offer the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2009 (S. 729, known as the DREAM Act) as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 when it goes to the Senate floor next week.”

NAFSA is “an association of individuals worldwide advancing international education and exchange and global workforce development.”

A 2008-2009 NAFSA report shows that over 30,000 international students and their families who live in Florida contributed over $800 million to the states economy. The students were enrolled in public and private colleges and universities throughout the state.

When asked by The Florida Independent how NAFSA defines an “international student,” Heather Stewart, counsel and director of immigration policy for NAFSA said, “We go by the definition of the Immigration and Nationality Act that defines international students as those who enter the U.S. under a F-1 visa or J visa.”

The DREAM Act would benefit thousands of the immigrant students who entered the U.S. under a different immigrant status and have lived in Unites States for most of their lives.

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