U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Richard Lugar have sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano asking her to stop deportations of any undocumented students who would be eligible to earn legal status under the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or “DREAM” Act.
A number of students who would benefit from the DREAM Act, some of whom call themselves “DREAMers,” have become politically active in trying to get Congress to approve the measure, which was introduced by Sen. Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, and Sen. Lugar, an Indiana Republican, but never passed. The bill would provide a path to legalization for undocumented students who graduated from U.S. high schools and go on to college or serve in the military and meet certain other criteria.
Currently, four undocumented students are walking from Miami to the nation’s capital (if you click on this link, you can’t get back to the blog immediately) to try to attract public support for passage of the DREAM Act. They plan to arrive here in Washington on April 28. They’re asking President Obama to issue an executive order that would stop detentions and deportations of undocumented students like them.
Through social networking and media blitzes, a few individual undocumented students have gained backing from members of Congress and immigration authorities to get postponement of deportations.
“The current leadership at Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been very helpful in addressing individual DREAM Act cases that have come to our attention,” write the senators in the letter they sent to Napolitano yesterday. “However, deferred action for DREAM Act students would be more efficient than the existing ad hoc system.”
The Washington Times published a story today about the letter.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.