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House Passes DREAM Act

House Passes DREAM Act

Late in the day on Wednesday, House lawmakers passed legislation allowing illegal immigrant students to remain permanently and legally in the United States.  The DREAM Act was approved by a final vote of 216 to 198, with eight Republicans breaking ranks and voting for the measure.  38 Democrats voted against it.

First introduced in 2001, the House bill extends conditional legal status for five years to illegal immigrants who:

    – Were younger than 16 when they entered the country;
    – Have lived in the U.S. for at least five years;
    – Have a degree from a U.S. high school, or the equivalent.

The bill now moves on to the Senate for a vote.  A vote had been scheduled for Wednesday as well, but was postponed until Thursday.

Prospects for the bill are much more precarious in the Senate where a GOP filibuster will require 60 votes for passage.   The Senate shot down a similar measure in 2007 and there’s no indication that many members have since changed their mind.

Republicans called the measure a nightmare for the American people and will only hurt those seeking jobs.  Proponents of the measure point to the Congressional Budget Estimate that the House bill will save taxpayers $1.4 billion over the next decade while simultaneously offering opportunities for motivated kids who are in the country by no fault of their own.

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photo courtesy of Barnaby via Flickr

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170 comments

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1:26PM PST on Dec 23, 2010

still a great long way to go.

6:59AM PST on Dec 13, 2010

IM SO HAPPY THE DREAM ACT WAS APPROVED! I COULD CARE LESS WHAT ALL YOU RACIST PEOPLE HAVE TO SAY!!!

1:54AM PST on Dec 13, 2010

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the DREAM Act. This election came mostly across on party lines.

Here is the proof: Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act vote offers citizenship for service or schooling

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act; offers a “path to citizenship” for illegal aliens who came to the country as children. The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, isn't assured yet, however. The U.S. Senate has promised a filibuster.

2:48PM PST on Dec 11, 2010

Amber,

A lot of these "children" are older than you. If you want to help the (mostly) mexicans, the way to do that is to fix Mexico, not allow them to export their excess population here.

Until they stop making more babies than they can support and educate, Mexico will remain poor no matter how many people we take.

No amnesty, enforce our laws, put illegal employers in jail, deport the illegals. All just common sense, too bad it's in such short supply in congress.

9:41AM PST on Dec 11, 2010

Amber: The children are innocent, so they get to stay. Okay--the parents are guilty--are you going to insist they be sent home?? Of course you aren't. So what happens?? Well, all those who support the illegals claim we need to remove the incentives for their coming here--like jobs--and that it is the fault of those who offer the incentives, not the fault of the illegals themselves. Then, when we oppose giving them incentives, you are against that. Well, there is no justification for giving a non-citizen an in-state tuition rate when an American citizen from another state must pay full rate. This is America--our priority should be our citizens and our country. If America is not your priority, maybe you should move to a country you feel you can support, and offer your citizenship to someone who wants to support this country and see it succeed.

9:21AM PST on Dec 11, 2010

I agree with the DREAM act. these are children we are talking about. they did not have a choice to come here, they were brought here. and they should be able to stay here and have a better life because if they are forced back to Mexico or wherever, then they may not have a life at all.
please have hearts for children instead of criticizing them for being "illegal".

8:11PM PST on Dec 10, 2010

Illegal means illegal. They are entitled to nothing, and certainly not at the expense of the American taxpayer. Immigration laws are supposed to help keep the population of this country at a manageable level, not let in every downtrodden sad sack in the world who wants a better life. Our country is in serious debt and you advocate bringing in more people who contribute nothing except additional burdens in the form of welfare babies. I might want a better life, too, but I can't commit a crime in order to have one. And, despite what some people seem to think, American taxpayers do not owe anything to people of other countries.

2:02PM PST on Dec 10, 2010

Chris C,
Here is what the DREAM Act should say, if it was truly intended to show compassion for kids who were smuggled here by their parents:

1) Any illegal alien who is in school could be granted a student visa provided the following conditions are met:
a. They register
b. Their parents voluntarily leave and permanently forfeit any future opportunity to immigrate.
c. The student agrees to leave upon graduation or cessation of studies.
d. A GPA requirement is enforced.
e. The (student/parents/home country or private sponsors) are responsible for ALL expenses. No work permit will be issued.
f. The student is not eligible for ANY path to citizenship for 5 years after returning to the home country. No marriage visas, anchor baby etc.
g. Full biometrics must be taken of the student AND the parents.
h. If under 18, a LEGAL resident must be identifies as the guardian.
i. The parents must identify their employers for at least the previous 5 years.
2) STRICT border and interior enforcement MUST be included to prevent more illegals from coming. Think the SAVE Act and ending birthright citizenship.

OK, this would help the poor innocent students who were brought here. They would get their education, and should do quite well back home with that education. They would also be eligible to come here in the future. The parents would not be rewarded. They might even make Mexico a better place to live!

I would support this version, which of course doesn't exist

12:49PM PST on Dec 10, 2010

Vince...I see and hear your point re: a mass blanket amnesty. Agreed many of the illegals have no desire to better themselves. It's too bad we can't set up the Dream Act for the "students only" like Steve Li and they would have to meet some stringent requirements. If they haven't learned English, or are not willing to learn...and their grade point average is not at a certain level, then send them packing. But if you have a good student like Steve Li, who came here under no fault of his own, when he started school didn't know he was illegal and is a good student...will hopefully land a good job as a nurse and contribute back to society, then I say we should help them! We need to look at the individual!! Steve Li is more than 1 in a thousand...he's Steve Li, human being!

And again in regards to some arguements that people like Steve or other good students are taking away positions or jobs from Americans, it's not totally true! It's like my friend who went to live in England. She was basically an "illegal", but she got into school and then held many good jobs because she was judge on her merits, her ability to work hard...and personally since she's my friend, she's pretty darn smart!

Getting back to your points, I agree we shouldn't have a blanket "in" for everyone, but what they need to do is set up the Dream Act with strict guidelines that these students have to abide by...if not, they go home!

11:19AM PST on Dec 10, 2010

Chris C,
I was referring to Charlene’s comment on Dec 9, 2010 9:17 PM. It is nothing but a personal attack and adds nothing to this conversation.

Your Steve Li example is interesting, but why do we need a mass blanket amnesty to help people like this? Why should we allow someone like this to gain legal status for his parents? The DREAM Act is a massive blanket amnesty with no verification, once the “dreamer” applies, they are in. PERIOD! This bill is everything LaRaza would write, and they probably did write it. Steve Li is one in a thousand.

Look, there are 12-20 million illegals here, an estimated 2.1 million actually qualify for this amnesty, but many if not most will apply. When they apply, they instantly get a work visa, without any verification of actual eligibility. This is an open invitation to fraud and we will probably have 10 million applicants, 7.9 million will get instant work visas despite not actually meeting the requirements. It is then up to CIS to verify the applications, they have 3 million legal applicants on backlog now. There will be no verification, just rubber stamping, which is exactly what LaRaza wants. This bill is national suicide.

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