Later tonight, the House will be voting on the DREAM Act—common-sense legislation to give students who grew up in the United States a chance to contribute to our country’s well-being by serving in the U.S. Armed Forces or pursuing a higher education.
Who Supports the DREAM Act?
Republicans and Democrats in Congress:
The DREAM Act is currently co-sponsored by Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) in the House and by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) in the Senate. It has historically received bipartisan support. Ten Republicans voted for it in 2007, including Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Bob Bennett (R-UT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), and Richard Lugar (R-IN).
A Broad Majority of Americans:
In a poll earlier this year, 70% of likely voters of all political stripes support the DREAM Act. Regionally, that support ranges from 65% in the Midwest to 76% in the West. [06/2010, America’s Voice]
The DREAM Act is included in the Department of Defense’s Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2010-12 to help the military “shape and maintain a mission-ready All Volunteer Force.”
The Administration strongly supports House passage of the House amendment to the Senate amendments to H.R. 5281, which would address the immigration status of certain individuals who came to the United States as children, know this Nation as their home, and, by their actions, are contributing to the prosperity and security of the United States.
General Colin Powell:
“Immigrants are fueling this country. We have to educate our immigrants. The Dream Act is one way we can do that.” [09/19/2010, Meet the Press]
Wall Street Journal Editorial:
“The Dream Act would create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrant children who attend college or join the military. … Restrictionists dismiss the Dream Act as an amnesty that rewards people who entered the country illegally. But the bill targets individuals brought here by their parents as children. What is to be gained by holding otherwise law-abiding young people, who had no say in coming to this country, responsible for the illegal actions of others? The Dream Act also makes legal status contingent on school achievement and military service, the type of behavior that ought to be encouraged and rewarded.” [11/27/2010]
La Opinion—the largest Spanish-language daily newspaper in the country:
“The proposed DREAM Act is one of the wisest pieces of legislation in the comprehensive immigration reform package. That is why public opinion polls show that the majority of Americans back it… Americans understand that children are not responsible for the actions of their parents. Many respondents in surveys also feel it makes sense to permit young people who have lived in this country for many years to continue their higher education studies or have the opportunity to enlist in the military. It isn’t difficult to recognize that the country benefits by continuing to protect the investment in human capital that it began in elementary school…”
Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform:
“If, as conservatives, we fail to show our support for the DREAM Act now, we risk rejecting … strong conservative values: dedication to education, self-improvement, family unity and support for our armed forces… This bill would also show that the Republican Party can be a home to Latinos … In the end, however, this should not be about politics — but about the young lives that may be changed by this act. These young people want to contribute to the only country they know as a home. Allowing them to continue their education or join our armed services will bring a diverse, multilingual pool of workers to our country. We have already invested millions of dollars in the lives of these productive young people, and they have the promise to contribute to America’s future. As my friend Carlos Campo, the president of Regent University, said recently, ’How can we look into the eyes of these kids and tell them they cannot dream?’”
Why is the DREAM Act good for the economy?
The North American Integration and Development Center at UCLA:
A new study by UCLA highlights the economic benefits of the DREAM Act, including these young people eventually generating more economic activity as more highly educated residents, and higher tax revenues for their state, local, and federal government. Additionally, a “higher supply of skilled students would also advance the U.S. global competitive position in science, technology, medicine, education and many other endeavors,” according to the UCLA study.
The College Board:
“In strictly economic terms, the contributions that DREAM Act students would make over their lifetimes would dwarf the small additional investment in their education beyond high school, and the intangible benefits of legalizing and educating these students would be significant.”
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AK):
“The economy will be better when that [undocumented] kid is able to fully realize his potential and break the pattern of his parents’ illegal activity.”