COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - Tens of thousands of illegal immigrants graduate from American high schools every year. Now, there's a new push to let them become U.S. Citizens with just a few stipulations.
Does the Dream Act offer a chance at a better life, or a reward for illegal behavior?
"It's a huge, huge process that they go through," immigration lawyer Karen Caco says of the path to become a citizen. She processes a number of applicants every year through www.easyusimmigration.com.
Caco has a stack of nearly 400 documents on her desk, all for just one Visa. That's only the first step of years of work and thousands of dollars in order to be able to call the United States your legal home. That's why some choose to come illegally to the country, and bring their children too.
If passed the Dream Act could give those illegal children citizenship, but under three conditions. They must graduate from a high school in the U.S., they live here five years, and they must attend college or join the military.
Some say the bill cheats the system.
"I disagree with these people who come over here and are in the country for a number of years and are granted citizenship," Canadian Colin Nicholson says.
Nicholson is currently getting his Green Card, but says becoming a U.S. Citizen takes a lot of time and money, and he doesn't think the process should be easier for a select few.
Others say the Dream Act would make for a better country, with more opportunities for college and success.
"There will be a faster process for them even though they came in without proper papers, there will be a path to citizenship for them. Now, it doesn't mean they can cut the line, it just means they're going to make it easier because at the end of the day these kids didn't have a choice," Caco explains.
According to the bill's website, there is currently a lot of support behind it, but it's still in the beginning stages.