Undocumented Children Given a Chance to Realize Their DREAMs
WASHINGTON—People For the American Way applauded today the recent reintroduction of the bipartisan DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2005).
Introduced on Friday by Senators Durbin (D-IL), Hagel (R-NE), and Lugar (R-IN), the DREAM Act will provide hope and opportunity to a generation of hard-working children who were raised in the United States and who will have lived here for at least five years preceding the Act’s passage.
“The children this bill affects have grown up in the United States and have done nothing wrong, yet many are being punished and denied the opportunity to go to college or serve in the military,” PFAW President Ralph G. Neas said. “We must give them the opportunity to become full and contributing members of our society—that’s what this legislation seeks to do.”
The DREAM Act will apply only to undocumented children who arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16, who earn a high school diploma, and who satisfy rigorous standards for moral character and achievement. By meeting those criteria, these children can earn the legal status necessary to serve in the military or achieve their educational dreams.
“Senators Durbin, Hagel and Lugar deserve praise for introducing this critical legislation,” Neas said. “For far too many years, too many children have been denied the ability to advance in society and lead fulfilling lives. They are being consigned to membership in a permanent underclass, with absolutely no chance of social advancement, because of their undocumented status. It makes no sense to deny the next generation of doctors, nurses, and firefighters the opportunity to give back to the communities in which they were raised. The DREAM Act serves both our national interest and the interest of fairness and justice.”
The DREAM Act was also introduced the 108th Congress, where it was cosponsored by 48 Senators. PFAW eagerly awaits the bill’s reintroduction in the House and will work hard to ensure its passage in the 109th Congress.