Friends and Neighbors,
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said today that the DREAM Act will be part of a defense authorization bill which the Senate will vote on next week.
For those of you who’ve spent years waiting and who have been following the DREAM Act, no words are necessary.
For those of you new to my blog or unfamiliar with my political involvement, the DREAM Act is a bill that allows young immigrants of “good moral character” to become citizens much faster than the norm, in return for a college education or military service.
Put more technically, immigrant youth will be put on a 6-year path to citizenship, but they are required to finish a college degree or serve at least two years in the military and be honorably discharged in that time.
While this doesn’t untangle the understandably knotty problem of immigration and national security for our country, it does target one major problem: young people.
Young people, brought to this country against the law and against their will, have ended up socialized, educated, and trained as Americans. Deportation would leave them stranded in countries they don’t know and may not even understand.
Furthermore, many of these young people imbibe the American injunction to “better yourself” and find their way into colleges, since talent recognizes no borders. In fact, up to 65,000 undocumented immigrants graduate from high school every year.
As undocumented immigrants, they do not qualify for financial aid or scholarships. Furthermore, after graduation, their only options are to work low-wage, potentially dangerous jobs in an underground economy, rather than taking jobs they’re educated and trained for and paying taxes accordingly.
DREAM will not give these students money, nor is it a “blanket amnesty” as many have feared. The requirements are strict, there are very clear time limits, and the provisions are reserved for those who can finish a college degree (without financial aid, as I mentioned earlier) or who serve in the US military.
I’ve written about undocumented before on other occasions and in other venues. I’ve said how I feel and what needs to be said; I invite you to look up more information.
For now, if you’re interested in passing DREAM, call the following Senators at their offices:
Salt Lake: (801) 524-4380
Provo: (801) 375-7881
St. George: (435) 634-1795
Salt Lake: (801) 524-5933
Provo: (801) 851-2525
St. George: (435) 628-5514
Boston: Phone: (617) 565-3170
DC: (202) 224-4543
Comment if you want a particular senator’s contact information and I will include it here.
Always good to hear from you; I apologize if my break into politicking seems distasteful, and thank you for bearing with me. I remain, as ever,