Today, Sen. Dick Durbin introduced the DREAM Act, which would give undocumented young people of good moral character who came to the U.S. as children an earned path to citizenship if they enroll in college or enlist in the military. The following is a statement from Marissa Graciosa, director of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement:
“We applaud Sen. Durbin for moving this crucial piece of legislation and being a long-time champion of our youth. Many of the bill’s cosponsors also have a history of supporting America’s young people.
“Passing the DREAM Act should be easy. It is one of those rare pieces of legislation that enjoys broad support from the American public. And the benefits to our economy and military would be immediate and profound, which is why business and military leaders support it. It is also morally right. The young people who would benefit from the DREAM Act were brought to this country and consider America home. The DREAM Act would allow them to fulfill their potential and contribute fully.
“But like Sen. Durbin, we understand that partisan gridlock in Congress makes passage of even such a common-sense, beneficial bill difficult, if not impossible. This is why we joined Sen. Durbin and more than 20 other senators in asking President Obama for an immediate stop to deportations of DREAM-eligible students. We shouldn’t hold their futures hostage. It’s not fair to them and it robs us of their talents and contributions.
“President Obama can and should give ICE clearer guidelines as to where our laws should be tempered by fairness and DREAM students allowed to live free of fear of deportation.
“Stays in deportation should be the immediate next step, but it’s just a stop gap. The DREAM Act is what America wants and needs. Congress should show America that it is capable of putting aside politics, that it is capable of breaking the gridlock, that it still is a functioning body. The DREAM Act is not a heavy lift. Congress should pass it immediately.”