DREAM Act Passes House

Supporters of the DREAM Act rallied in Orlando, FL in support of the bill. Photo by W. L. Doromal

December 9, 2010

I fell asleep before the House finally voted on the DREAM Act after following the debate  throughout the day. Finally, last night, by a vote of 216 to 198, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act passed the House.  The bill will likely be heard today or Friday in the Senate, where it needs to get 60 votes to pass.

Thirty-eight Democrats voted against it, and eight Republicans voted for the the bill that would carve a path for the undocumented children of immigrants to eventually get legal status after they have enrolled in college or the military.

You can bet that our country's growing Hispanic population, which makes up a growing segment of our voting population, is watching who voted for and against this bill. So are educators like myself who teach, or have taught, some of the undocumented students who were brought to this country by their hardworking parents by no choice of their own.  We want to see them have the opportunity to meet their full potential and live in the only country that most have ever known.

The Los Angeles Times reported:
President Obama said the passage was historic. "This vote is not only the right thing to do for a group of talented young people who seek to serve a country they know as their own by continuing their education or serving in the military, but it is the right thing for the United States of America," he said in a statement.

Obama called on the Senate to follow suit.

The bill could come up there as soon as Thursday but is unlikely to attract the necessary 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. Republican senators have vowed to block all legislation until a stalemate over the George W. Bush-era tax cuts is resolved. Obama and the GOP have reached a deal, but Democrats haven't signed on.
 In recent weeks several members of the Presidents Cabinet also came out in support of the DREAM ACT including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

The main criteria to qualify for conditional relief and eventually permanent relief include: entry into the U.S. before the age of 16; presence in the U.S. for five consecutive years; completion of high school (through graduation or G.E.D.) or acceptance into college; being between 12 and 35 years of age at the time of application; and establishment of "good moral character" as defined under immigration law.

We'll be continuing efforts to get people to call their Senators tomorrow. Please help us by calling or sharing this link on Facebook!


Anonymous said...

I thouight that anyone who joined the US Military already was eligible for US Citizenship.
As far as the other qualifications, since I have not really followed this, age requirements and minimum 5 years times residing in the US opens up a lot of problems.(plus documentation on all areas)
It will be interesting to see where this will go as if this vote does not go through it probably won't happen next year.
It would have been better to go the route that Reagan went.

Anonymous said...

It's a moot point as it will not pass the Senate.
However, it does bring up another issue.
Hispanic's will make us the largest group of Americans in the next 20 years. Not the majority of Americans, just the largest single group. This is good for democrats, right? Well, maybe not. Having grown up White in Texas, I agree with Geraldo Rivera's view on the subject. Hispanics are actually much more closely aligned with conservative values than liberal ones. Hispanic families have strong family roots. Conservative, usually Catholic,beliefs. Stong work ethics. They are raised in strict homes that push education as a way to get ahead. They are generally a proud people that don't want to be given things and believe everyone should work for their supper. California propositions that some people thought would pass, but get voted down are due largely to the conservative Hispanic vote (gay marriage and marijuana). I don't worrly about a more Hispanic US. They are good people who share alot of the conservative values that I believe in.
As far as immigration goes it is a big subject, but legal Hispanics are here to stay and America will be stonger for it.

Anonymous said...

See Mike Lillis, “To get DREAM Act over its first hurdle, timing was everything for Democrats,” The Hill, Monday, December 13, 2010, available at http://thehill.com/homenews/house/133291-on-house-passage-of-dream-act-timing-was-everything.

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 7:03

Yes, I know! We still have a chance this year!