The U.S. House approved Wednesday night the DREAM Act, a measure that would grant undocumented immigrant youth who qualify for higher education or military service and arrived in the U.S before the age of 16 a path to conditional resident status. It will take over a decade before a person has a chance to become a U.S. citizen.

The Miami Herald reported:

While the House approved the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act by a vote of 216-198, the fate of the DREAM Act remained uncertain as the Senate postponed a test vote on the measure.

CNN spoke Wednesday morning with Cesar Vargas and Gaby Pacheco, student illegal immigrants who support the DREAM Act. They appeared with American Morning’s Kiran Chetry.

Pacheco, a Miami-Dade College student, born in Ecuador and living in the U.S. since she was 7, told Chetry the DREAM Act would give young people like her the opportunity to give back to this country.

In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Immigration Policy Center said, “Organizations and individuals from across the country from California to Kentucky, Oklahoma to New York-have joined together to support the DREAM Act.”

The Congressional Budget Office reported last week that the Senate version of the DREAM Act

would increase authorized workers and affect individual and corporate income taxes, as well as social insurance taxes. Those changes would increase revenues by $2.3 billion over 10 years, according to estimates provided by the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT). Newly authorized workers also would be eligible for some refundable tax credits.

And the CBO also indicates “that enacting the bill would reduce deficits by about $1.4 billion over the 2011-2020 period.”

DREAM Act detractors have called the law mass amnesty that would allow criminals to become permanent residents and give immigrants who qualify for higher education benefits not granted to U.S. natives.

The DREAM Act now goes to the Senate — where Republicans have said they will block the vote on any bill until a spending bill to keep the federal government running and an extension to the Bush-era tax cuts are voted on.

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