Recent Blog Entries
- New Americans Campaign comes together for Citizenship Drive in Los Angeles
- Ushering in a New Season for CLINIC and our 11 Million Undocumented Neighbors
- Living in God's Image, Embracing the Immigrant
- Lent: A Reform of the Heart
- Immigration Policy and New Estimates of the U.S. Unauthorized Population
- A Lenten Call to Embrace Acts of Charity
- CLINIC Holds Unique, “Mega” Workshop Training Event in Los Angeles
- Do Immigration Laws Deny Religious Freedom?
- Joyful Anticipation
- Las Posadas: An Invitation to Hospitality
A DREAM Deferred
Update: On Tuesday, September 21, the U.S. Senate voted against proceeding to debate on the Defense Authorization bill, to which the DREAM Act was amended. The vote was 56-43 with all 40 Republicans voting "no" along with Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Mark Pryor (D-AR). Though he is a supporter of the bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), switched his vote to "no" at the last minute to provide him the opportunity to call for a re-vote through a procedural maneuver. The DREAM Act may also be voted on as a stand alone bill.
By: Allison Posner*
This week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced his intention to add the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act to the Department of Defense Authorization bill that will soon be coming up for a vote in the Senate – maybe as early as next week.
This is a welcome development, since the DREAM Act was first introduced in 2001. It was most recently introduced in 2009 in the Senate by Richard Durbin (D-IL) and in the House by Howard Berman (D-CA). The legislation would provide a chance for young undocumented high school graduates who entered the United States before they turned 16 to gain lawful immigration status. Passage of the bill would mean eligibility for student loans, federal work-study programs, and other services. It would provide incentive for the approximately 65,000 undocumented graduates each year to continue their schooling and improve their job prospects.
As many as two million young people may be eligible to benefit from the provisions in the DREAM Act. These are students who have been raised in the United States and generally do not know a life in any other country. Many do not speak their parents’ native language. Many are helping their parents to integrate into American society using their fluent English to serve as interpreters. Many have applied to colleges and been rejected only because of their lack of immigration status. Despite the difficulties they face, these young people have succeeded in graduating from high school and are eager to earn their status by attending college or joining U.S. military.
Bishop John Wester, Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration called young people who would benefit from the DREAM Act “talented, intelligent, and dedicated young persons who know only the United States as their home.” He went on to say that “They can become some of the future leaders of our country, provided we are wise enough to provide them the opportunity to pursue their dreams.”
Learn more about the DREAM Act and what you can do to support it by visiting the Justice for Immigrants website at: http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/learn-issues.shtml
The video below is from the opening of DREAM University.
Watch the interview and see more picture on our Facebook page.
*Allison Posner is CLINIC's Director of Advocacy
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