While healthcare seems to be sucking up all the air in the room these days, another piece of legislation close to our hearts is DREAM ACT. If you're not aware of it already, you should be. Here's your chance to learn more.
Every year, thousands of young people graduate from American high schools and are forced to live in the shadows, fearing every day that they might be deported. These young people, who are children of undocumented workers, will grow up to become our neighbors and co-workers. They are law abiding citizens. Some pay heavy out-of-pocket expenses for a college degree that they'll never be able to use. And yes, they pay taxes. By no choice of their own, they find themselves in a situation that has no resolution.
Fortunately, a few members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, have recognized the situation and are fighting for what is morally right. Yes, they have their hands full right now with correcting Bushonomics and passing insurance reform, but we cannot allow these young people to grow old before this legislation is signed into law.
Dream Act of 2009 (S. 729 and the House companion bill, HR 1751) addresses this real tragedy and is a step in the right direction toward real immigration reform. DREAM ACT would grant qualified young people a pathway to citizenship on the condition that they go to college and maintain a good standing or serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.
A story that really caught my attention tells about a young girl named Benita Veliz, a St. Mary's University graduate who arrived in the U.S. at the age of eight. Her parents crossed the border with a legal visa but decided not to go back. Benita, who is now a young adult, may lose everything she's ever gained. Everything for her changed when she was pulled over for a simple traffic violation back in January. Although she's lived in the United States her entire life, she faces deportation to a place that has never been her home.
There are thousands upon thousands of stories just like Benita's. DREAM ACT is the type of CHANGE we voted for. Beyond going to the ballot box last November, we are obligated to lobby our elected officials to support this legislation.
A few things you can do: First, please call your Representatives and Senators today and urge them to support S. 729 and H.R. 1751. When you're finished, give us some feedback. Second, sign the petition at DreamAct2009.com. Spread the word!
A few pages you may be interested in: