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Durbin pushing DREAM Act, meets with Harvard president, student who may be deported

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below, Durbin release.....

DURBIN TALKS DREAM ACT WITH HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT DREW FAUST AND DREAM ACT STUDENT ERIC BALDERAS

Bill to Help Immigrant Students Achieve Legal Status Could Reach Senate Floor Next Week

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Harvard University President Drew Faust and Eric Balderas, a Harvard University student, about the DREAM Act - a narrowly tailored, bipartisan bill which will give a select group of undocumented students a chance to earn legal status provided they came here as children, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, and complete two years of college or military service in good standing. The bill could be brought to the floor as early as next week.

Mr. Balderas, whose parents brought him to the United States when he was four years old, was arrested in June while traveling back to Boston after visiting family in Texas. Facing deportation, Harvard students and President Faust lobbied on Balderas' behalf and his deportation was stayed after Durbin contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement about his case.

"Eric's goal in life is to become a cancer researcher, but he can't reach that goal because he does not have legal status," Durbin said. "America would be better off if we give talented young immigrants, like Eric, a chance to contribute more fully to the only homeland they've ever known. The DREAM Act would give students like Eric that opportunity. This is the choice the DREAM Act presents to us. We can allow a generation of immigrant students with great potential and ambitions to contribute more fully to our society and our national security or we can relegate them to a future in the shadows, which would be a loss for us all."

Harvard University President Drew Faust said: "Eric and I want to thank Senator Durbin for his sponsorship of the DREAM Act, which would throw a lifeline to thousands of students across the country like Eric who, through no fault of their own, face uncertain futures due to their immigration status. These young men and women are working hard in school and are dedicated to a future living in and contributing to our communities or serving in the military. I believe it is in our best interest to educate all students to their full potential."

Our current immigration laws prevent thousands of young people from pursuing their dreams and fully contributing to our nation's future. Many of these students have no choice in the matter because they were brought to the United States by their parents at a young age and have spent most of their lives in America. This is the only home they know. They are fully assimilated into American society and they want nothing more than to be Americans.

"We should not punish children for their parents' mistakes. That is not the American way. The DREAM Act says to these kids: America will give you a chance. We will give you the opportunity to earn your way to legal status if you work hard and play by the rules," Durbin said.

The DREAM Act includes important restrictions to prevent abuse. DREAM Act students would not be eligible for Pell grants, would be subject to tough criminal penalties for fraud, and would have limited ability to sponsor their family members for legal status.

The DREAM Act has broad bipartisan support. The DREAM Act has 40 cosponsors, including lead Republican cosponsor Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and is the only immigration reform legislation the Obama Administration has endorsed. In the 110th Congress, the DREAM Act received 52 votes, including 11 Republicans. According to a recent poll by Opinion Research Corporation, 70% of likely voters favor the DREAM Act, including 60% of Republicans.

The DREAM Act is supported by a broad coalition of education, business, labor, civil rights and religious leaders from across the political spectrum and around the country, including the AFL-CIO, the Anti-Defamation League, the National PTA, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the CEOs of Fortune 100 companies like Microsoft and Pfizer, and dozens of colleges and universities.

For more information about the DREAM Act and other students like Eric Balderas, visit: http://www.durbin.senate.gov/issues/leg_dreamAct.cfm. Photos from today's meeting are attached.

-30-


7 Comments

Dream Act???

Why the special treatment?

Some of us once had dreams of our own. One of mine was to have three children.

Back in the 60’s the Federal Government came into the public schools and brainwashed us as little children with the message that the children we were about to have were unwanted because the population was rising so fast. They launched a program called, “Zero Population Growth”. They pushed Family Planning and birth control pills. Now they call the same programs, "Safe Sex" but the results are the same. I think you and I both know that you only have to trick people for their few child bearing years and there is no going back.

Many of us never had a say in the future of our unborn.

I am the result of two living cells. One from each of my parents. They are the result of two living cells, one from each of their parents. I wasn't just born. I am a continuation of life. I am a living thing that reaches back into time perhaps 400 million years and the result of billions of joining of pairs of cells. It is possible that if you were to follow my cells back to my parent’s cells and beyond that my family tree touches every living thing here on earth. That is if we limit ourselves to believing life was created here on earth. If it rained down from the immensity of the universe it could reach back into that immensity of time and space, and who knows what relationships and who knows what species.

My family line succeeded, at least until I came up against the Federal Government and their plan to control the population.

I have seen the Federal Government do little else to control the population.

The open border, United States laws only apply to some, is a serious slap in the face. No, not a slap in the face, it reaches well beyond that. Maybe back to the beginning of time and stretch to the bounds of the universe.

President Reagan give visa to the world no body complain,but there to much latino in this big white USA everybodyis complaining,

Lynn Sweet has not quite identified core questions about the proposed Dream Act, as it presently is. Could readers and/or Lynn please clarify these important issues:
(1)Age of 'undocumented' people who might be allowed. Is it really restricted to teens and college students? I have seen differently -- namely that the Dream Act would really allow anyone up to age 35.
(2)Is the Dream Act really focused on the likes of publicized Harvard student who happens to be a Mexican citizen brought across the border illegally by his 'undocumented' parents? I have seen differently -- namely that the reach of Dream Act is much broader, to include any such person (up to age 35) who can manage to meet the minimum requirements to graduate from high school or get a GED. Not just Harvard material.
(3)How would we enforce against fraud? It would seem that the Dream Act proposal is written so that the several million 'undocumented' applicants only have to claim to meet the criteria. They don't have to prove anything. Can you imagine the government building a case, one illegal at a time, to prove the claims on the application are false, in order for the illegal alien to lose the amnesty?
(4)Is the proposed Dream Act going to send the right message to other families considering bringing non-USA citizens, into the USA? Looks like a precedent is being set: you come, we reward your illegal activity. Think of Reagan's 1986 "Amnesty" which failed to solve the problem of illegal immigration.
(5)The Dream Act does nothing to stop the present chain migration system which allows those legalized, to then sent for millions more relatives?
(6)Isn't the proposed Dream Act really just a "back door" Amnesty mechanism? It does nothing to solve the basic incentives that draw illegals to the USA, while other foreigners wishing to immigrate legally are left waiting.

Lynn has started needed discussion. Let's continue it.

Regards,
Robert Greenhalgh
Sparks, Nevada

In response to the comments made by Mr. Greenhalgh...

1) Yes, the Dream Act allows persons up to 35 years old to apply for "temporary residency" if the Dream Act is passed. This is different from regular residency (green card) due to the fact that they are only guaranteed six years in which to obtain 2 years of college or military service. Only then may they apply for regular residency.
2)Yes, the Dream Act is applied to anyone who has graduated from a U.S. high school or GED program. They will still need to obtain the two years of college or military service. If they don't, they will be out of the chance their status to regular residency and at the end of six years, will be deported since they are now in the system.
3) Each applicant has to prove that they entered the US before they were sixteen and graduated from a U.S. high school or obtained a GED certificate. School records would be the most likely and easiest thing to verify. There is also a clause that states they must of good moral character, basically if they have every committed a crime, however small, they can't get their status changed. And no, I won't deem it a crime for a child to be brought into this country illegally, since it's their parents' deeds.
4)The Dream Act sets a date that the applicant must be in the country for them to be able to apply for temporary residency. Anyone entering the country illegally as a child after that date is not going to be able to apply for the program. You also mention the Reagan Amnesty, please know that this Act is not a cure-all. The Reagan Amnesty basically said that if you here in the country illegally before this date, you are now able to apply for residency. The applicants must go throught hurdles in order to correct their situation. Right now, they have no way to correct it. So you can have people here illegally or give them a path to follow, make them pay taxes, get an education or serve in the military, fuel the economy, the choice is yours.
5) You are correct. If the "dreamer" becomes a citizen, then they can petition to have family members come to the United States. But how long will that take? Let's see....six years of temporary residency, five years of regular residency (green card) and then they finally can apply for citizenship. So over ten years, before they can bring some else into this country, oh wait, that person must also wait for a visa, and who knows how long that will take.
6)It's not a back door amnesty, it's a change to current immigration policy in that it opens a path to those already in the country to correct their status. Without it, you will still have the average 12 million illegal aliens in the country. You can lessen this number by almost 2 million and get almost 2 million new taxpayers.

And on a personal note, I am here illegally in this country. I entered in 1989 at the age of 8, graduated high school and then worked to pay for college on my own. I have bachelor degree from a college that is voted #1 or 2 by U.S. News & World Report every year in the field of study I have a degree for, yet can't obtain employment in this field due to not being able to do anything about my status. I have never committed a crime and even pay income taxes using a "individual taxpayer identification number" (ITIN) issued by the Department of the Treasury, whose form states that I can't legally work the US but should pay taxes for working in the US. I have also volunteered my time in my community and have received the thanks and awards for my work in that capacity from the citizens of my community. So, why can't I given a chance to change my status?

The Dream Act only applies to those who came here before the age of 16, not to EVERYONE aged 12-35. If Americans want to solve the immigration problem, fix the mess you've created in the immigrants' homes. The US consumes the most drugs in the world, and the money that buys those drugs keep the terrorist groups live. Either stop the drug consumption or mobilize troops.

The Dream Act is a great law but I think it should be targeted to a different set of immigrants.The Dream Act is supposed to be for students. If the U.S. Gov't want to fix their illegal immigrants situation then they should do an amnesty like they did in 1986.
I believe that these act should be for the people that enter the country LEGALLY and for any reason they are out of status but, don't have a deportation order. for example: A family came here in 2000, they applied for a working visa (H1) or an investor visa (L1) and and maintained that status for 4 years, for whatever reason they could't continue in that status and they lost their "H1,L1" status . Another case would be that a family came here, applied for the "L1" visa, got the visa, the kids went to high school, graduated High school, went to college, in some point of their lives the kids turned 21 and they couldn't stay in the "L" status so they decided to get a student visa (F1). Doing this the Gov't would be helping the people that for some technicality that are currently out of status.
This Act is so applicants can obtain a residency for six years prior to obtaining a citizenship. during those six years they will not be a hassle because they wouldn't qualify for Gov't grants or any kind of Gov't help. maybe during the period that they are at school they could be charge as an out of state student that way the citizens can take advantage of this situation.
I think if the Act focuses on those people the number of immigrants would descent from 2 mil. to maybe 500,000 and the Gov't would be helping the immigrants that did the things right and the Act would be helping those people pursue their dreams because at the end of the day all these people want is to become an American in paper because I bet they already feel an American in their hearts.

This is NOT comprehensive immigration reform, this is rewarding someone for their parents' poor choices and violating the law. I had an illegal message me and tell me that her mother brought her here as a child. Her mother went back to Mexico 7 YEARS AGO, SHE decided to stay ILLEGALLY. She has been going to school, INCLUDING COLLEGE on OUR DIME. This is NOT acceptable. If you want to become a citizen, you do the work and earn it for yourself. Illegals have NO RIGHT to expect citizens to pay for their tuition. I don't agree with taxpayers' dollars paying for legal citizens to go to college via financial aid, much less ILLEGALS. When I was younger and applied for college, my parents were told that they made too much money for me to qualify for financial aid. Yes, too much money. My mother is disabled and my step-father earned a mere $11/hr. Huge household income there. *sarcasm* But that's okay, I got loans and worked my butt of WHILE putting myself through school and recuperating from cancer. To say that we owe them an education is insulting. Legal or illegal, you can work for it like everyone else has to, ESPECIALLY if you're illegal. They keep wanting to be treated equally, but only when it means they get something special. This bill does not go into enough detail and leaves for too many loopholes, on top of the fact that millions of Americans are already out of work and have been for quite some time, yet we're expected to pay the way for illegals, too? What about taking care of our own LEGAL citizen children? This is a burden that Americans cannot bare, especially when even college-educated citizens are not able to find jobs. And the process that they used to try to push this through is despicable and it's only true purpose was to garner votes and make the "other side of the aisle" look like the "bad guys". They are the true obstructionists by continuing with this method of legislating.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on September 15, 2010 5:54 PM.

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