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.
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.
By: Ann Atalla
Advocacy Attorney, CLINIC
Immigration advocates have been down in the dumps lately, with news reports pronouncing the death of immigration reform in 2010. As the nation’s largest network of legal service providers for immigrants, CLINIC has felt the pain as vividly as other immigrant advocacy organizations. Although the lack of action in Congress can be discouraging, not all is wrong with the immigration landscape these days. In three recent decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court has provided immigration advocates with reassuringly good law.
A New Decade, A Renewed Push for Reform, and Tragedy Strikes Haiti: January in Immigration News
In our work to educate and increase awareness about the need for immigration reform, we have discovered a common thread. Tell someone about why he should support immigration reform and you may only be partially successful at convincing him of the need for immigration reform. Introduce him to an immigrant and let that immigrant tell the horrors of navigating the U.S.
It's been quite a week.
Last week, many of us were celebrating the bold and public affirmations by government and elected officials that immigration reform is on the way. We smiled cautiously and optimistically in hopes that the administration and Congress finally understood the urgency behind the need to fix our broken immigration system.
In some circles, it would be said that this was a good month for immigration advocates. Around the halls of Congress and in news reports nationwide, officials have boldly and loudly announced support for immigration reform and for pursuing it this year.