Custom Search

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Senate Temporarily Shelves The DREAM Act

The DREAM Act, which would grant legal status to hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants was shelved yesterday because our Republican politicians have been hearing from us, loudly and consistently.

The bill — officially the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act — would allow illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. before the age of 16, and who have lived here at least five years, to receive conditional legal status if they have graduated from high school and have a clean record. After six years, they could become permanent legal residents if they serve in the U.S. military for at least two years or complete at least two years of college. As with most green card holders, they could apply for citizenship after five years.

The nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute estimates that slightly more than 1 million high school graduates and children still in class could gain legal status under the legislation.

With conservatives being barraged with calls, faxes and e-mails from anti-illegal immigration groups that view the DREAM Act as amnesty, some Republicans who supported the measure in the past have been reluctant to do so now. Durbin needed 60 votes to surmount an expected filibuster.

Some Senate Republicans, including Texans Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, objected to the measure being brought up on a defense bill.

"Putting extraneous things on this bill isn't helpful," Hutchison said.

Other Republicans aren't ready to revisit a debate that imploded in June when the Senate scuttled an overhaul endorsed by the White House that would have given most illegal immigrants a chance for legal status.

"People, I think, want to let the immigration thing cool off a bit before we jump back in," said Sen. Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican who helped derail the comprehensive immigration bill.

The issue isn't gone, they will try to bring it into every bill as often as they can.

Durbin and immigrant rights advocates were dismayed by the setback but vowed to find other means to pass the legislation, which they have sought since 2001.

While we can take a second to thank the Republicans for doing as we asked, (please do let them know you are thankful)we must not stop calling, faxing and emailing.

They must understand that amnesty is unacceptable.


Other illegal immigration news:

It seems that illegal immigrants fearing stricter enforcement of laws are moving, either back to their original countries or to neighboring states.

Illegal immigrants living in states and cities that have adopted strict immigration policies are packing up and moving back to their home countries or to neighboring states.

The exodus has been fueled by a wave of laws targeting illegal immigrants in Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia and elsewhere. Many were passed after congressional efforts to overhaul the immigration system collapsed in June.

Immigrants say the laws have raised fears of workplace raids and deportation.

"People now are really frightened and scared because they don't know what's going to happen," says Juliana Stout, an editor at the newspaper El Nacional de Oklahoma. "They're selling houses. They're leaving the country."

Supporters of the laws cheer the departure of illegal immigrants and say the laws are working as intended.

Lets be clear here because too many like to try to distract and distort.

Immigrants are welcome if they come legally and not by breaking the first law of the land which is sneaking over the border and entering our country illegally, or obtaining a visa then overstaying that visa and staying illegally.

There is a difference between legal immigrants and illegal immigrants and trying to confuse the two is intellectually dishonest.

Contact your representatives and senators:

It is important to have your voice heard and we have, but we need to remember that it is easy to call, fax and email when you are angry and want your reps to vote a certain way.

It is equally important to send them a quick note thanking them for listening and acknowledging their good work.

The incentive might not be as strong but it is imperative that they know that we noticed and we appreciate it.

Take a few minutes, call, fax or email, thank them and reiterate that you are watching and want them to remain firm and see to it that the DREAM Act and any other form of amnesty, but whatever name they try to call it, is not acceptable.

Text of the DREAM Act can be found here.

Shop the Curb Your Enthusiasm Section at