By: Andrés Abella y Alex Cohen
Aquellos quienes antes del martes 28 de junio no conocían a Ola Kaso −graduada de secundaria con honores y a punto de debutar como becaria de la Universidad de Michigan− quizá se preguntaron que hacía la delgada muchachita de 18 años en la audiencia de aquel día del subcomité de Inmigración, Refugiados y Seguridad Fronteriza del Senado de los Estados Unidos.
By: James Porter*
When you sit down to the dinner table this Thanksgiving, what will you say you are thankful for? Friends? Family? Health? Something that may slip your mind though is being thankful for your U.S. citizenship. For almost 2 million young people in this country, this is not something they have ever been given the chance to be thankful for. They were brought to the U.S. as children and many do not know a life outside the U.S.
By: James Porter*
With only 2 months until mid-term elections, politicians on both sides of the aisle are doing their best to gain support from their bases. Democrats introduced the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act) as an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced a comprehensive immigration bill right before the Senate adjourned for campaign season. The DREAM Act failed in a procedural vote, and it is unclear what will happen with the CIR bill. Not to be left out of the political posturing, Republicans released a “Pledge to America,” which included several immigration related items. As the outcome of the November elections still remains to be seen, these were the most popular stories in September in immigration news.
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.
By Crista Cornavaca
Students from the United We Dream Coalition and DREAM Act supporters gathered at Lafayette Square in front of the White House and on Capitol Hill last week to promote awareness for the DREAM Act and to give visible presence to the previously invisible undocumented student population. These activists are striving to pressure Congress to move the DREAM Act to a vote. The Act would allow undocumented students who have lived in the United States for most of their lives to receive a higher education, allow students to accept the academic and athletic scholarships they have been unable to access due to their immigration status, and after two years of military service or successful completion of higher education, continue on their path to being productive and patriotic Americans with legal permanent residence.