Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) has announced that he, Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) will introduce the DREAM Act as an amendment to H.R. 1585, the Department of Defense authorization bill, which is now being debated in the Senate.
The amendment will need 60 votes to pass. Its adoption would be a giant step forward for the DREAM Act, which would then stand an excellent chance of becoming law this year.
The provisions of the DREAM Act amendment are expected to be word for word identical to S. 774, the bill that Senators Durbin, Hagel, and Lugar introduced earlier this Spring. It would provide a 6-year path to permanent residence and eventual citizenship for individuals brought to the U.S. years ago as undocumented children if they graduate from high school and continue on to college or military service.
We do not yet know when the vote will be, and it is possible that procedural obstacles could prevent one from occurring at all. But regardless, it is imperative for all DREAM Act supporters to call your Senators and click here to send an e-mail message to them today, and again tomorrow, and again every day until the vote occurs. You can find your Senators' phone numbers here.
We expect anti-immigrant groups to spread falsehoods about the DREAM Act and to try to inflame their base to intimidate Senators like they did in the recent Senate debate about immigration reform. But DREAM Act supporters are passionate too. We can and must fight back and match their intensity.
CALL BOTH OF YOUR SENATORS AND TELL THEM
"PLEASE VOTE FOR THE DURBIN-HAGEL-LUGAR
DREAM ACT AMENDMENT TO H.R. 1585
SO THAT IMMIGRANT STUDENTS BROUGHT HERE AS CHILDREN
CAN REALIZE THEIR POTENTIAL"
Your Senators' phone numbers are online at:
To send an e-mail message to your Senators please go to:
What else you can do:
- Forward this message to every listserv and everyone you know
- Post it on blogs, MySpace, Facebook, or other on-line networking tools
- Call in to C-SPAN or other radio or television shows where there is some hope of a sympathetic audience (not anti-immigrant propaganda sites)
The DREAM Act in Brief:
The DREAM Act is narrowly tailored
It would apply only to individuals brought to the U.S. at least 5 years ago as children, who have grown up here, and who have remained in school and out of trouble. They could get a green card 6 years after graduating from high school if during that time they continue on to college or serve in the military.
The DREAM Act is not a "mini-amnesty"
At its core, amnesty is forgiveness for wrongdoing. That does not apply to DREAM Act students who were all brought here years ago as children. The DREAM Act rewards them for staying in school or serving our country.
The DREAM Act would benefit taxpayers
The DREAM Act would provide hope to immigrant students and lead many more of them to remain in school. As an example of the fiscal benefits of this, a RAND study showed that a 30-year-old Mexican immigrant woman who graduates from college will pay $5,300 more in taxes and cost $3,900 less in government expenses each year than if she had dropped out of high school. This amounts to an annual fiscal benefit of over $9,000 per person every year, money that can be used to pay for the education of other children. State and local taxpayers have already invested in the education of these children in elementary and secondary school and deserve to get a return on their investment
You can find more information about the DREAM Act here.