People For the American Way and African American Ministers in Action Support the DREAM Act

December 17, 2010

United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of members of People For the American Way and the progressive African American faith leaders from around the country represented by African American Ministers in Action, we write in support of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. We welcome the House amendment to the Senate amendment of H.R. 5281 and urge its passage in the Senate. It is time to finally send the DREAM Act to the President’s desk.

This bipartisan legislation would allow access to post-secondary educational opportunities for many immigrant students in the US who currently face difficult obstacles on the road to higher education. It applies to undocumented students under the age of 30 who arrived in the US before the age of 16 and who have been here for at least five years upon the date of enactment. Once they have a high school diploma, GED, or have been accepted to college, these individuals would be able to apply for conditional nonimmigrant status, which lasts up to ten years. To be adjusted to legal permanent residency, they will need to demonstrate good moral character and prove completion of a college degree, two years toward a bachelor’s or other higher degree, or two years of military service.

Some have argued that the DREAM Act should not be considered until the United States addresses comprehensive immigration reform. As you well know, this is an arduous process yet to be resolved; much disagreement remains as to what changes should be made. We will not lose sight of this goal; nobody should. But this legislation is achievable now and would be an important step forward.

People For the American Way and African American Ministers in Action believe that if students are able to complete their education and work legally, they will become a vital part of our society able to contribute to our economy and live their own American dream. We strongly urge you to support the DREAM Act.

Sincerely,

Michael B. Keegan
People For the American Way
President

Marge Baker
People For the American Way
Executive Vice President for Policy and Program

Reverend Timothy McDonald, III
African American Ministers In Action
Chairman

Reverend Dr. Robert P. Shine
African American Ministers in Action
Vice Chair

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