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DREAM Act Gets Its First Hearing Ever

June 29, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

The DREAM Act, a bill that would give citizenship status to some undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, received its first ever Senate committee hearing yesterday. The bill has been stalled in Congress since 2001. Yesterday’s hearing indicates that Democrats, with support from the White House, are launching a major effort to rally support around this ahead of the 2012 elections.

The bill would establish a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants under the age of 35 who entered the country at age 15 or younger and have graduated high school, obtained a GED, or served two years in the military. Applicants for citizenship under the bill would have to meet certain criteria designed to prevent the bill from being exploited and to weed out applicants that have been in trouble with the law.

The bill has a long history of bipartisan support, but when Senate Democrats held a last-minute vote on the DREAM Act last year it failed to secure enough support to overcome a filibuster, with 4 Democrats voting in favor of the filibuster and 5 Republicans crossing the line to vote against the filibuster. They then tried to add it to the 2011 Defense Authorization bill, but that bill ended up being filibustered as well. Since then, the last remaining Republican supporter, Sen. Richard Lugar [R, IN], has backed away. The bill now has zero Republican co-sponsors.

Obviously, with no Republican support in the Senate and the House under Republican leadership, getting the DREAM Act through either chamber, let alone through both and signed into law, is going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible. Sen Dick Durbin [D, IL], the chief sponsor, told Politico that he was "going to look for the right opportunity to pass this bill and to have it signed by the president,” though he declined to comment on whether or not he would be trying to attach it to some other must-pass bill. No matter what happens, showing their support for this in what ever way they can will help Democrats shore up the Latino vote ahead of the election. With the chances for passage so slim, that may be what this is actually all about.

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Comments

Naame 07/07/2011 3:42pm

Sheesh. There is a lot of FUD in these comments.

The current revision of the Dream Act has fixed all of the concerns which have been raised about previous revisions. Some of which date back almost 10 years ago. Yet, many people still claim that today’s revision is no different than the original which is simply not true.

In other words, to those reading these comments, be careful what you believe. The current revision is not mass amnesty by any means. Those who may qualify are the kids who were brought here with no choice. Even then they have to prove themselves to be the kind of citizen which is more productive and less of a threat to society than many other Americans. They have to go to college or the military and succeed to qualify.

The only difference that Dream Act will make is transform these people from productive undocumented immigrants into productive tax paying citizens.

mshughes 07/03/2011 11:18pm

@bluezook … you answered your own question. they have no intention of verifying anything, because they don’t give 2 hoots about this Republic or our laws. they are openly & notoriously violating our laws with the express purpose of destroying America from the inside!

this gov’t infuriates me, but the people who elected these fools & continue to support the destruction of our country infuriate me more!!

marysteeleyorktownva 06/29/2011 7:21pm

The Dream Act will qualify millions more illegals than what is stated above. And if they were such good people, they would have already applied for citizenship, so this nothing more than a mass amnesty!!! Those over 18 have “chosen” to be in this country illegally, therefore should not get citizenship!!

And there is NO WAY to background check millions of illegals in a timely manner so they will circumvent the process and just give them ID’s and that is something nobody should accept! They WILL BE giving murderers, rapists, molesters, ID theft criminals and others the ability to roam our streets legally, and finding them when their true background is realized will be next to impossible!!

marysteeleyorktownva 06/29/2011 7:41pm

It’s more than PR, it’s election time and Obama thinks he was losing the Hispanic vote and support from people like Congressman Gutierrez. If Gutierrez had any respect for Latino voters, he would not force up to 11-20 million illegals on an already struggling 22 million unemployed legal immigrants and citizens!! It cost over $100B, yes over 100 Billion dollars, just for the last round of unemployment benefits, and 0.41 cents of every dollar of that was borrowed!!!!!! Our country can only absorb so many people, we have high poverty of our own, with massive unemployment and resources unable to keep up, we are already overpopulated!!

We have to say NO to illegals and have compassion for the legal immigrants and citizens that are struggling to survive!!

fakk2 06/29/2011 5:30pm

Didn’t this used to be called a “publicity stunt”? I mean, c’mon, Eva Longoria and other Latino celebrities are pushing this after a meeting at the White House in late April. That’s not serious business, that’s PR.

fakk2 06/29/2011 8:35pm

It’s funny, talking about illegals now instead of last week. I just read an interesting article from the Houston Chronicle’s website about Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) lawyers dismissing cases against illegal immigrants last year, and lying to Congress about it. I don’t know if it’s all true, but definitely interesting to read: Original story and Supporting FOIA Documents

And here’s a story from a local news agency in Texas about Mexican troops crossing into the US, loaded with guns, grenades, and who knows what else: Original story and then Congressman Henry Cueller’s reaction

mshughes 07/03/2011 11:37pm

@bluezook … you answered your own question. they have no intention of verifying anything, because they don’t give 2 hoots about this Republic or our laws. they are openly & notoriously violating our laws with the express purpose of destroying America from the inside!

this gov’t is infuriating, but the people who elected these fools & continue to support the destruction of America because they think they are entitled to something they’ve not earned, or just plain don’t want to work are far more infuriating!

bluezook 07/01/2011 6:29pm

Question: how does our inept government plan on verifying whether or not an UNDOCUMENTED 30 year old has been in the country since they were 16?

Also, the previous “last ever” amnesty was in 1986 so this bill overlaps the “last” amnesty.

Why even have laws? This government disgusts me.

Rogue414 07/06/2011 1:37am

Here is a solution; Let’s hunt them down and remove them from our society, or put them in Concentration camps.
That would make you guys happy.. Wouldn’t?

mshughes 07/03/2011 11:14pm

Great docs … thanks for the info!!

mshughes 07/03/2011 11:12pm

You’re correct, and further, they know they’re mud come 2012, so they want these folks to VOTE (assuming they don’t already vote illegally!)

fakk2 06/29/2011 9:01pm

My mistake, just realized I mis-spelled the congressman’s name. It’s supposed to be “Cuellar”, not “Cueller”.

HildaSuf 07/05/2011 2:45pm

Evidently this act gives illegals the opportunity to go to college, thereby find a job that legal immigrants may not be qualified for. – it sounds like a dream for the illegals, although talk is cheap, and believing false prophets is dangerous; how’s government healthscare working out for those that legally receive these “services”?
-creatingorwellianworld-view-alaphiah.blogspot.com/2010/12/Creating Orwellian World-view by Machiavellianism – “Exploring Orwellian attempts of changing the American society through legal coercion,politically correct language and political Fascis …” December 09, 2010
- colorlines-com/archives/HOUSE PASSES DREAM ACT!! December 8 2010 “… [The DREAM Act] hurts American workers, rewards lawbreakers. The nation has an unemployment rate of 9.8 percent, has exceeded 9.5 percent for 16 months, the longest stretch since the Great Depression. The DREAM Act makes illegal immigrants eligible to work legally in the United States…”

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HildaSuf 07/20/2011 4:37am

Why does opencongress not record all pluses as a plus – ??? I try to agree with some commenters, and the rating goes down rather than up.

lizzygrl39i 10/12/2011 2:49pm

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HildaSuf 07/20/2011 4:43am

“The only difference that Dream Act will make is transform these people from productive undocumented immigrants into productive tax paying citizens.” – all immigrants before them have had to follow rules already in place for becoming legal immigrants – why are these rules not good enough?

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