AMARILLO, TX - Immigrants across the country continue rallying in favor of the DREAM Act and it could mean a stronger economy and job growth for Texas.
While it's been in the talks for years, there really hasn't been a true push to pass the act, until now. President Obama says he's all for passing the DREAM Act which could change the lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrant children in the US.
"The DREAM Act will give immigrants a status that will give them a permit to study in the country, have a work permit and then a path to citizenship," immigration counselor Al Muniz said.
It sounds great on paper by giving immigrants who come into America an opportunity to start a career. An article recently published in the Texas Tribune says if the act passes, more than 280,000 jobs could be created here.
"We are talking about potentially wonderful, genius kids that will give a lot to this country," Muniz said.
There's currently a similar program already in place. It's called the Deferred Action Childhood Arrival plan and it was put into place in August.
"This is the first step toward the dream act," Muniz said.
It's a highly criticized piece of legislation too. While it allows immigrants to work here legally for up to two years before requiring a renewal, it doesn't allow them to work toward earning citizenship.
On top of that, ,Mitt Romney said he'd discontinue the program if elected, saying it's not a "permanent solution."
However, for people like Muniz, the deferred program paves the way for the passage of the DREAM Act.
"I think it will be a wonderful law and will benefit the country and not just Texas," Muniz said.
It's estimated more than 1.4 billion jobs across the nation would be created by 2030 if the act passes, but opponents argue it would steal jobs away from unemployed Americans.