The Obama Administration has put a concerted effort into pushing for passage of the DREAM Act. Both U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano have held conference calls with the press to voice their strong support for passage of the act, which could be taken up by Congress soon. Politico reported on Saturday that the U.S. Senate might hold a vote on the measure this week.
A vote in the Senate that had been predicted by supporters to happen last week was postponed after U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, filed a revised version of the bill.
The office of public engagement of the White House posted on the Web last Friday “10 reasons we need the DREAM Act.” It summarizes arguments that the two secretaries and others have made for the act, such as it will help our economy and make it easier for immigration authorities to concentrate their enforcement efforts on undocumented immigrants “who pose a threat to our country.” The “10 reasons” post follows one that summarizes “facts”—and some opinions as well—about the proposed legislation.
The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act, would provide a path to legalization for undocumented high school graduates who meet certain criteria and complete two years of college or military service. Opponents say it provides “amnesty” for people who broke U.S. immigration laws. A version of the act was first introduced in the Congress in 2001. Then it had bipartisan support, but lately it’s generally been supported by Democrats and opposed by Republicans.
If the DREAM Act fails again in Congress, it’s not from a lack of public awareness about it. Even my mother, who lives in a small college town in Pennsylvania, has been following it.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.