Ask Congress to Support the DREAM Act!
September 14th, 2010
Congress is only back in session for a couple of weeks before the November election. Momentum is strong in Congress to help immigrant youth. They can do this by passing the DREAM Act.
Young people who have lived in the U.S. for most of their lives but who were brought to the US illegally, often as young children, face a difficult future. These children have grown up in our communities and include honor roll students, star athletes, talented artists, and aspiring environmental scientists, doctors, and entrepreneurs. They face unique barriers to higher education. Unable to work legally in the United States, they often live in fear of deportation. This is a terrible loss both for them and for the larger society.
Bipartisan Support for the DREAM Act
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (“DREAM Act”) is bipartisan legislation that was introduced in the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives in 2009 by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) as S.729 and by Representatives Howard Berman (D-CA), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) as H.R.1751. According to June 2010 polls, about seventy percent of Americans favor this bill.
DREAM Act legislation is supported by a wide range of organizations from the education, military, and business communities as well as and faith organizations such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Provisions of the DREAM Act:
The DREAM Act (first introduced in 2001) would create a pathway to Lawful Permanent Residence and eventual earned citizenship for young people. The bill doesn’t reward students for their parents’ illegal behavior; all it does is fix a system that currently punishes children for their parents’ decisions. To be eligible, the immigrant must enter the country before the age of 16, live five consecutive years in the U.S., earn a high school diploma or equivalent, and have a clear record, void of criminal activity.
If passed, The Dream Act would create a pathway to Lawful Permanent Residence and eventual earned citizenship for upstanding high school graduates who were brought to the United States as children years ago. Around 2.5 million undocumented youth under the age of 18 who live in the United States would benefit.
Tell Congress: It’s time to pass the DREAM Act.
If Congress fails to act this year, another entire class of outstanding, law-abiding high school students will graduate without being able to plan for the future, and some will be deported to countries they barely know. Deporting educated immigrant students who have demonstrated a commitment to hard work and a strong desire to be contributing members of society is a loss to America.
Tell your Senators and Representative that as their constituent, you urge them to cosponsor and help enact the DREAM Act so that undocumented high school graduates brought to the United States as children can realize their potential through higher education and service to the United States. All Americans will benefit.