WASHINGTON--Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is trying again to get the DREAM Act passed and will chair the first-ever Senate hearing Tuesday on the immigration measure to give students in the U.S. illegally a chance to stay.
As a run-up to the DREAM Act hearing in Washington, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel hold a telephone press conference Monday to promote the legislation. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) has been traveling across the nation to build support for the legislation. While White House Chief of Staff, Emanuel was seen as declining to push President Barack Obama to make DREAM Act passage a priority.
In May, Durbin re-introduced the measure on Wednesday, continuing a years long fight.
Last December, after passing the House (then under Democratic control) the measure fell five votes short in the Senate and Durbin vowed to keep trying. In May, Obama boosted the DREAM Act in an immigration speech in Texas, along the U.S./Mexico border where he called for various reforms.
When Durbin starts an issue, he stays with it. On Sept. 10, 2001, Durbin launched his fight to allow students of illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. at a press conference in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. The DREAM Act became part of a larger national debate on the hot button, divisive immigration issue.
"I've been working on the DREAM Act for over ten years," Durbin said in a statement."In that time, it's been reported out of committee by a large bipartisan margin, passed the House of Representatives, and received a bipartisan majority vote in the Senate, only to fall because of a filibuster. I'll convene the first-ever Senate hearing on this bill next week to discuss how the DREAM Act will make our country stronger by giving undocumented students a chance to earn legal status if 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."
From Durbin's office: Durbin will chair the hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security. The hearing will be webcast live at www.judiciary.senate.gov.
DURBIN BACKGROUNDER ON THE DREAM ACT LEGISLATION IS HERE.
Witnesses list: Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano; Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan; Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Dr. Clifford Stanley; DREAM Student, Ola Kaso; Lt. Colonel (retired) Margaret Stock; and Director of Research for the Center for Immigration Studies, Steven Camarota.
Additional information about the DREAM Act can be found here.
Who: Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL)
What: First-Ever Senate Hearing on the DREAM Act
Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security
When: Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
Where: Room 216
Hart Senate Office Building
Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), who has championed the DREAM Act for over ten years, is chairing the first-ever Senate hearing on the DREAM Act Tuesday, June 28th, at 10:00 am ET.