Each year, about 65,000 undocumented immigrant students graduate from high school; many of them have lived in the United States since they were young children. Among these students are class valedictorians, straight-A students, and idealistic young people committed to their families and to bettering their communities. Their goals include becoming tomorrow’s teachers, nurses, engineers, computer programmers and soldiers. However, many of these students are unable to pursue higher education because of enormous barriers not of their making.
To create opportunities for these immigrant youth, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) have introduced the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act (S. 952/H.R. 1842). The bill would create a pathway to legal status for qualified undocumented students who come to the United States before the age of 16 if they, in addition to meeting other requirements, complete at least two years of college or military service.
On June 28, 2011, Sen. Durbin held the first-ever Senate hearing on the DREAM Act. Witnesses included administration officials and students who would be eligible for relief under the act, who testified about the importance of passing the DREAM Act. Tell your senators and representatives that the DREAM Act is a practical, fair solution that upholds the best of our shared American values, and that you support immediate consideration and swift passage of the DREAM Act.