We’ve written here before about the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act would enable the children of immigrants to apply to become permanent residents and put them on the path to citizenship. Under the DREAM Act, young people who meet a number of requirements, including: arriving in the U.S. before their 16th birthday, living here for at least five consecutive years, have a high school diploma or GED, and demonstrate “good moral character,” which in this context means no criminal justice involvement, would be eligible to apply for citizenship. While there’s plenty of room to criticize the DreamAct for setting up a distinction between “good” immigrants and “bad” immigrants, the fact is, tens of thousands of children grow up in this country as de facto citizens but then are blocked from pursuing their dreams of a college education or military service because of their de jure legal status. It diminishes all of us as a society when these hard-working young people are not allowed to pursue their dreams, or worse yet, forced to leave the country.
There’s more detailed information from the National Immigration Law Center here (pdf). If you’re ready to take action, now’s the time. The vote in the House is set for TOMORROW AT 10AM! Tell your representative to vote YES. The general line for the House is 866-967-6018.