Saturday, March 2, 2024

Key White House Officials support DREAM Act at Senate Hearing

On Tuesday the Senate held its first-ever public hearing on the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.

Hundreds listened closely as Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, testified in support of the immigration bill.

If passed, the DREAM Act would create a path to citizenship for more than two million undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children

Arne Duncan claimed that the U.S. would be short three million college graduates by 2018 and stressed the importance of granting citizenship to undocumented students to fill the void. Additionally, he cited a Congressional Budget office report saying the law would generate an extra $1.4 billion in government revenue.

Janet Napolitano addressed national security. She explained that  young illegal immigrants, who do not have criminal history are not a threat and can contribute to American society

“Only young people who are poised to contribute to our country and have met strict requirements regarding moral character and criminal history would be eligible. These individuals do not pose a risk to public safety. They do not pose a risk to national security,” Napolitano said.

Republicans including Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, opposed the DREAM Act and described it as a band-aid that would not fix the larger issues surrounding the broken immigration system.

Although  Republicans are in control in the House, supporters left  the hearing empowered and hopeful  and will continue to lobby  Congress and government agencies for passage.