Monday, June 29, 2009

Support the Dream Act

As the United States moves (we sure hope!) ever closer to enacting comprehensive immigration reform, there are opportunities NOW to support some smaller pieces of legislation that would get Congress moving in the right direction. The DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act is a bipartisan proposal, which would create a pathway to citizenship for thousands of young students who were brought to the United States as children. Current immigration law puts an educated class of promising students at risk for deportation to their "home countries," places most of these students hardly know.

Watch this video to hear the stories of dream students:

The DREAM Act has four basic requirements which are:

  • The student entered the country before the age of 16;
  • The student has graduated high school or obtained a GED;
  • The student is of good moral character (no criminal record); and
  • The student has been present continuously in the US for at least five years.

Under the DREAM Act, those who meet the criteria will have six years within which to obtain a two-year college degree or complete two-years of military service. Upon completion the individual will be given the opportunity to adjust his or her conditional permanent residency to U.S. citizenship.

There is no question that comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) is necessary to bring all undocumented persons out of the shadows. However, the DREAM Act is a step in the right direction.

Here are some actions you can take:

Click here to sign a petition asking President Obama and Congress to pass the DREAM Act.

Click here to help stop the deportation of Dream Student, Walter Lara.

Watch and share this video with others. Dream students dare to come out of the shadows and share their stories at a special graduation ceremony.

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