National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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Unprecedented Outpouring of Support for DREAM

September 20, 2010 - Posted by Maurice Belanger

DREAM Activists on beach


With the possibility of Senate action on the DREAM Act, there has been an unprecedented outpouring of support, and calls to action to urge Senators to support the DREAM Act.  Actions have been organized (and continue over the next couple of days) in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida (including the Miami Beach action pictured above), Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  (For more information on these activities, see this list.)  We are told that more calls have gone in to Senate offices supporting the DREAM Act over the past few days than were generated during the entire reform debate in 2007.  Whew! 


The outpouring of support we have seen is not limited to the large group of enthusiastic young DREAM activists.  Here is a glance at the cross section of support that has been voiced over the past few days.


Sunday, General Colin Powell, former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was on Meet the Press explaining why passing the DREAM Act was a good thing to do.  He went on to explain that we need to find a way to put undocumented immigrants living and working in this country on a path to citizenship.  You can see the video clip here.


Meanwhile, around the country, editorial boards from large and small newspapers published editorials in support of the DREAM Act.  (You can find a compilation here.)  The New York Times weighed in today, calling the DREAM Act “the best hope for legalizing any significant number of Americans-in-waiting” in this Congress, and a sign that Congress is capable of more than fear-mongering on the immigration issue. 


"The Dream Act alone won’t achieve the large-scale reform the country needs. But it will be a desperately needed affirmation that fixing immigration is not all about border fear and lockdowns. It’s about welcoming the hopeful."


Also today, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued a statement on the Dream Act, saying that the labor federation strongly supports passage of the DREAM Act and noting that the “livelihood and future of hundreds of thousands of our youth are at stake.”


The DREAM Act is targeted to young people who would, as a condition for gaining full legal status, complete at least two years of college or serve at least two years in the military.  It is not surprising, then, that supporters include college educators and the military.  The Defense Department includes the DREAM Act as part of its strategic goal to “shape and maintain a mission-ready All Volunteer Force.” 


It’s not clear whether the DREAM Act will ultimately overcome the resistance to getting anything done that has plagued this Congress.  Whatever the outcome, however, our politicians are hearing from many thousands of people across the country who are determined to keep this issue before Congress until it is done.


It’s not too late to weigh in with your Senators.  You can still become part of the outpouring of support.  The Senate will take a procedural vote on Tuesday (September 21) to determine whether to proceed with debate on the Defense Authorization bill to which the DREAM Act will be attached.


Write your Senators, using this letter we have created to make it easy.


Call your Senators.  Reform Immigration FOR America makes it easy here:


Fax your Senators.  Use this tool from America’s Voice.


Learn more about the DREAM Act here.


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