Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) proposed the DREAM Act as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill which would allow students living in the US for at least five years before reaching age 16 to obtain a green card after college or service in the military. Senator Reid wrote in a September 14, 2010 blog entry that this amendment will ensure that millions of children who grow up as Americans will be able to get the education they need to contribute to our economy. Senator Reid also proposed the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell rule which would allow those in the armed forces who are gay and lesbian to openly serve. If the Senate passes the DREAM Act amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill it will have to go back to each chamber after conference committee reconciliation for a final vote because the House passed the bill back in May without the DREAM Act provision.
Senator Reid also stated in the final words of his blog entry that he firmly believes that these two amendments deserve strong bipartisan support and will work to ensure that the legislation is passed before the end of this work period.
Each year about 65,000 students graduate from high school with zero prospects for the future. They live in constant fear of being deported from the country they call home. The DREAM Act would change that. It would provide a path to citizenship for thousands of young people who are Americans in all but paperwork — provided they have shown good character and either attend college or serve in the military for two years.
We know that the majority (70%) of Americans support the DREAM Act, but over the next few days Congress needs to feel this outpouring of support. Passing the DREAM Act would be a huge victory in the struggle to make our immigration system just.