The DREAM Act is one of the most important pieces of legislation to be left behind by Democrats in the previous session of the U.S. Congress. Unable to wrangle members of the Senate Democratic Caucus into passing the bill, Harry Reid left a huge gap in the Party’s ability to garner the support they need from voting Latinos — a growing portion of the American electorate. It upset me, and it upset many DREAMers who only know the United States to be their home, but are at risk of being deported because of our arcane & nativist laws.
Since then, the pressure has not let up, and to the credit of thousands of undocumented youth around the country, Sen Reid and other leading Democrats are starting to wise up. Today 22 Senators, including Ben Nelson & Joe Liebermann, have signed a letter asking President Obama to “grant deferred action to all young people who meet the rigorous requirements necessary to be eligible for cancellation of removal or a stay of removal under the DREAM Act.” In other words, the letter asks POTUS to use his powers to stop the deportation of students who would be covered by the DREAM Act. This is a huge step, and is welcomed by many groups and people who support the efforts of DREAMers.
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials released the following statement in support of the Senators’ letter to President Obama.
NALEO EDUCATIONAL FUND SUPPORTS SENATE LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA
WASHINGTON, D.C. —
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund issued the following statement regarding a letter sent by several senators requesting that President Obama halt the deportations of young students:
“We applaud the actions of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and 21 of his colleagues asking President Obama to instruct the Department of Homeland Security to stop deporting students eligible for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The senators also ask that the Administration establish procedures for DREAM Act students to apply for deferments on deportation orders as early in the process as possible.
The DREAM Act allows select immigrant students a path to legalization and citizenship if they meet certain requirements, including pursuing a college degree.
In their letter to President Obama, Sen. Reid and his colleagues stress that these students should not be removed because ‘they have great potential to contribute to our country, and children should not be punished for their parents’ mistakes.’ We wholeheartedly agree.
The NALEO Educational Fund also urges Congress and the Administration to work toward fixing our broken immigration system and make comprehensive immigration reform a reality.”
Funk & Beans, as educators, are fully supportive of the DREAM Act and especially the courageous DREAMers who put their lives on the line everyday to make OUR country better. There’s no better, bigger, or more important act of patriotism than what is being done by the scores of undocumented youth pushing for the DREAM Act. It makes sense, and it needs to happen.