Tarrant County, Tx., has seen a dramatic spike in the number of requests for criminal record searches from Dream Act hopefuls seeking to gain U.S. citizenship, reports the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. The “Dreamers,” as some call the illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, hope to be granted deferred action under an Obama administration directive. As many as 800,000 undocumented young people in the U.S. could qualify.
Applicants must submit to a background check and have a clean record without felonies and serious misdemeanors, or any evidence of being a threat to the country. As a result, demand for felony record searches has almost tripled over the last two weeks, said District Clerk Tom Wilde. In late July, clerks ran 58 searches. By comparison, 169 searches were recorded the week of Aug. 13-17. Deferred action is not a method that would grant individuals legal status. Only Congress can do that under the Dream Act, which isn’t yet law. Congress has been wrangling for years over specific proposals, but political pundits have said the Act is still “just a dream.”