This post was originally published by CampusProgress.
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced the reintroduction of the DREAM Act in the 112th Congress, and Representatives Howard Berman (D-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) plan to introduce a similar bill in the House later this afternoon. The DREAM Act, which would give hardworking immigrant youth the opportunity to earn their legal status through higher education or military service, was originally introduced in 2001, and has enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress and from leaders in the business, religious, and civil rights communities. Today’s announcements reflect that leaders on both sides of the aisle agree: The DREAM Act is commonsense legislation whose time has come.
The DREAM Act would benefit talented youth like Ana, a Sociology major at the University of California-Los Angeles, whose family came to the United States from the Philippines when she was only eight-years-old. Ana is a high-achieving student and a tireless advocate for the DREAM Act in her community. She hopes that Congress once again takes action on this bill so that she can pursue a career in journalism after completing her undergraduate studies.
President Obama has come out in strong support of the DREAM Act, and yet his administration has already deported more people than any before it. This discrepancy between the President’s words and his actions has produced real, devastating consequences for DREAMers and their families. It is our sincere hope that, until the DREAM Act is passed, the President changes course and protects the future of Ana and others like her by steering clear of increasingly harsh and expensive enforcement policies that are leading our country down an unproductive and dangerous path.
Momentum around the DREAM Act has not diminished, even in a climate where political gridlock often stalls progress on pivotal, common-sense legislation. Campus Progress and the young people with whom we work believe in the American values of justice, fairness, and opportunity for all, which is why, together with DREAMers and allies, Campus Progress is renewing efforts to convince Congress to pass this critical legislation. We commend Senator Durbin and Representatives Berman and Ros-Lehtinen for their continued leadership on this issue, and for standing with immigrant youth. We look forward to continuing the fight together.