08 December 2010

They're Voting Today! Stand Up for the DREAM Act Now

This is it: Today, Congress is set to vote on a motion that could bring the DREAM Act to the floor for consideration by the full House. There are literally just hours left to convince your representatives that the DREAM Act must be passed, once and for all.

The DREAM Act provides an all-important path to citizenship through education and/or service for those brought to this country as undocumented minors. "This is a no-brainer," says Caroline Hotaling, Program Officer at the Ms. Foundation for Women. "Originally drafted by Republicans and Democrats together, the DREAM Act gives our country the chance to benefit from the work of young people who just want to contribute, whether it be through higher education or military service. There is no good reason to say 'no' to this legislation."

And, as Ms. Foundation grantee the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights pointed out today in a message to supporters, real economic benefits -- for the whole nation -- come attached to this bill. A recent analysis by the Congressional Budget Office has revealed that the latest version of the DREAM Act has the potential to "generate more than $2.3 billion in various tax revenues and reduce the budget deficit by some $1.4 billion between 2011 and 2020." We agree with NNIRR: in a time of dire economic crisis, numbers like those ought to be enough to garner bi-partisan support for the act.

But conservatives are continuing to push back on passing DREAM, and are now moving to add amendments to the bill that would, according to NNIRR, add earmarks for increased border enforcement to it. Those aren't the kinds of immigration solutions we need; pathways to opportunity, not bigger fences, are the only real avenues to resolving this issue -- and opportunities are what the Dream Act could at long last provide.

Tell Congress -- right this minute -- that it's time to pass a DREAM Act that allows immigrant youth to build a better future here in the US. Call (202) 224-3121 to connect to your representatives’ offices and tell them how much the DREAM Act means to you. They'll be voting this afternoon -- so there's literally no time to waste!

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