Yesterday, the DREAM Act was reintroduced in both the Senate and the House. In the spirit of bipartisanship and showing a commitment to youth seeking to advance themselves here in the US, Senators Lugar (R-IN) and Durbin (D-IL) introduced the bill in the upper house, while Reps. Berman (D-CA) and L. Diaz Balart (R-FL) introduced the house version.
As Seneca has mentioned before, the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM) would assist young, undocumented immigrants in earning legal status by completing a college education or military service. The legal status won’t be awarded for nothing, these youth will have to earn that opportunity. It is reported that the Senate version is outlining the following eligibility requirements:
“To be eligible, a child must have been under the age of 16 when they entered the country and be physically present in the United States for at least five years immediately preceding the date of this measure becoming law; have earned a high school diploma or GED; be a person of good moral character; and not be inadmissible or deportable under criminal or security grounds of the Immigration and Nationality Act.”
With some 78 million baby boomers expected to retire in the next few decades, it is worth investing in these undocumented youth who have demonstrated the tenacity to complete college or military training, so that they can be prepared to contribute fully to our economy. I know that some have concerns about the military service portion of this bill since so many poor and youth of color are targeted for the armed services as is, but I think that including this provision is the only way we are going to get this bill passed. How can anyone not support wanting to educate and train bodies who are willing and able?
There are some key steps you can take to make sure that the DREAM isn’t deferred yet again. Kyle at Citizen Orange has given us five ways to make the DREAM a reality:
2. FAX – America’s Voice has a page to help you fax your congressional representatives in support of the DREAM Act.
3. EMAIL – Change.org has a page to help you email your congressional representatives in support of the DREAM Act.
4. PETITION – Dreamactivist.org has the official petition in support of the DREAM Act.
5. TEXT – Text “Justice” (”Justicia” for Spanish) to 69866 to be the first to know when the DREAM Act is introduced. FIRM’s Mobile Action Network is an excellent way to stay connected and have maximum impact at just the right moment.