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July 1, 2010
NJ Revilla-García

Push for the DREAM Act continues

Today DREAM Act advocates waited in anticipation for a major speech from President Obama on fixing our broken immigration system, which was followed by an "Open for Questions Roundtable" with one of the President's closest advisors on the issue.

During the speech on Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) delivered at American University School of International Service, Washington, D.C., the President spoke briefly on The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (better known as the DREAM Act), a bipartisan legislation which has been introduced in every Congress since 2001.

The President expressed his continued support for the DREAM Act, which targets students who are in the U.S. through no personal decision of their own and often with no connections to another “homeland.”

“... And we should stop punishing innocent young people for the actions of their parents by denying them the chance to stay here and earn an education and contribute their talents to build the country where they’ve grown up.” said President Obama during his speech. “The DREAM Act would do this, and that’s why I supported this bill as a state legislator and as a U.S. senator -- and why I continue to support it as president.”

 Supporters for the passage of the DREAM Act contend that it is counterproductive to keep students in the shadows of our communities and on the sidelines of America’s higher education.

 “And while we provide students from around the world visas to get engineering and computer science degrees at our top universities, our laws discourage them from using those skills to start a business or power a new industry right here in the United States.  Instead of training entrepreneurs to create jobs on our shores, we train our competition,” said Obama.

“If Congress decides to move forward on the DREAM Act we will happily support it,” said Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Cecilia Muñoz, during a Roundtable on CIR following the President’s speech. She further noted that this, again, would only be possible with bipartisan support.

 “We will continue to strive for co-sponsorship of S. 729 (the DREAM Act) and be ready to support any serious new call to action for the passage of CIR, said Antonio R. Flores, President and CEO of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), who last month led efforts on the formation of the “Act on the DREAM Coalition” to push for immediate passage of the DREAM Act

According to Flores, the passage of the DREAM Act would serve as a down payment for CIR. HACU also supports the President’s efforts for CIR which would include DREAM provisions.

The Act on the DREAM Coalition is urging individuals to send letters to Congress before their August recess. More information is available at www.actonthedream.org

To view Remarks by the President on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, click here.

Photo caption: President Barack Obama speaks about Comprehensive Immigration Reform at American University School of International Service, Washington, D.C.