“Our immigration laws prevent thousands of young people from fully contributing to our nation’s future,” said Durbin. “These young people have lived in this country for most of their lives. It is the only home they know. They are American in every sense except their technical legal status.”

The DREAM Act would create a path to legal residency for children whose parents brought them to the United States illegally, as long as they learn English and earn a college education or join the military.

The DREAM Act was a top priority for President Obama during the 111th Congress, but the legislation stalled in the Senate after winning House approval.