Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 21st, 2010, the U.S. Senate will begin the final steps of determining whether or not thousands of young Americans, many of whom are Latino, will be able to fulfill their American dreams. By giving just minutes of your time, you have the opportunity to make a positive, life-changing difference for these dreamers. (Take Action Now!)
Last week, Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced the inclusion of the bipartisan DREAM Act as an amendment to the Senate Defense Appropriations Bill (Watch video of the announcement). The DREAM Act, formally known as the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, would provide a conditional path to citizenship for an estimated 700,000 undocumented children and young adults who were brought to the USA by their families before they were old enough to consent. For many, the United States is the only home they have known and English their dominant language. Permanently returning to the countries of their birth would be as difficult as any one of us picking up and starting a new life in a foreign land. Additionally, many of their birth countries are overrun with poverty and violence, leading to their families original decision to emigrate. Providing them a conditional path to citizenship is the fair and just decision for our Congress to make. (Take Action Now!)
I spent close to 10 years working to empower our next generation of Black and Latino students to graduate from high school and continue on to higher education. It is challenging to say the least but it becomes even more so when I am face to face with an undocumented ninth grader looking me in the eye and sincerely asking, why bother with school anyway if they can’t attend college or pursue a career? The most difficult moments, however; come during senior year. Counseling undocumented students who have studied hard to maintain their grades, packed their resumes with community service and who would, were it not for their status, be strong candidates for competitive colleges and scholarships is heartbreaking. Their options are limited and their futures are uncertain. This year undocumented students around the country have been courageously coming out of hiding and risking deportation at sit-ins, protests and marches in an effort to pass the DREAM Act (Hear from undocumented students taking action).
The DREAM Act was first introduced in the Senate in 2001 by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and revised versions have been introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate multiple times since then. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) introduced the act in 2007 but sadly it lost; just 8 votes shy of the required 60. (See how your Senator voted) In 2009, Senator Durbin reintroduced it, which is the version that will be included as an amendment in tomorrows bill. The process to include and then pass the DREAM Act in the Defense Appropriations bill will take three different votes so that means we must continue to call and email our Senators all week long. (Understand the process)
WATCH SENATOR DURBIN DEFEND THE DREAM ACT
Your active support is necessary and essential to get the DREAM Act passed in the Senate.
PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW through one of these links:
Understand the specifics of the DREAM Act so you can share with others:
More resources from www.DreamActivist.org
by Charlotte Melanie