Monday, October 22, 2007

Reid spokeswoman: Senate takes up DREAM Act this week

According to the Congressional Quarterly, a spokeswomen for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced today that the Dream Act will be taken up following Tuesday's expected final vote on the 2008 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (HR 3043).

Beyond the spending bill, it is unclear what legislation will round out next week’s floor schedule. The chamber could take up an immigration bill related to children (S 774), said Regan Lachapelle, a Reid spokeswoman.

Sponsored by Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., the bill would allow children of illegal immigrants who entered the United States before age 16 and lived here at least five years to gain conditional legal status. Under the bill, they could attain eventual citizenship if they attend college or enlist in the military for at least two years.

Ried, invoking Senate Rule XIV, has fast tracked the stand-alone bill, now numbered S.2205, which has languished in the Senate, in one form or another, for more than seven years now.

Needless to say this news has received an apoplectic response from the ranks of the nativist wingnut agitators. They will undoubtedly try to rally their minion of flying monkeys to flood the offices of every Senator in Washington over the next few days. Numbers USA and FAIR already have screaming headlines up their sites to exhort their followers to action.

To counter this effort, an even more overwhelming response must be initiated on behalf of the thousand of children whose only hope at achieving the American dream rests on the passage of this bill.
Each year approximately 2.8 million students graduate from US High Schools. Some will go on to college, join the military, or take other paths in life, hopefully all becoming productive members of society. But for approximately 65,000 of them, these opportunities will never be available. Not because they lack motivation, or achievement, but because of the undocumented status passed on to them by their parents.

Lacking legal status and social security numbers, these students, raised and schooled in the US, cannot apply to college, get jobs other than those at the bottom of the economic ladder, or otherwise follow their dreams. They grew up on American soil, worked hard and succeeded in spite of all odds, and want nothing more than to be recognized as individuals and not just the holders of a status they had no part in acquiring.

In Washington, politicians have debated the fate of these kids for more than seven years, holding lives and futures in their hands while vying for political advantage.

For these kids, and the thousand more who have already managed, through sheer force of will, to complete their higher education but now face a life of uncertainty and alienation, the DREAM Act is the only answer. Please call your Senators starting first thing Tuesday morning.

Here's a list of the most needed votes to make DREAM a reality.

This list of 19 fence sitters hold the hopes and dreams of thousands of hardworking, conscientious , kids in their hands. Kids who've done all that was asked of them, and now only want an opportunity to be the Americans they have always regarded themselves as.

-DUKE'S HOT 19 -

Murkowski (R-AK) 202-244-6665
Stevens (R-AK) 202224-3004
Pryor (D-AR) 202-224-2353
Martinez (R-FL) 202-224-3041
Inouye (D-HI) 202-224-3934
Brownback (R-KS) 202-224-6521
Landieu (D-LA) 202-224-5824
Collins (R-ME) 202-224-2523
Snowe (R-ME) 202-224-5344
Conrad (D-ND) 202-224-2043
Dorgan (D-ND) 202-224-2551
Dominici (R-NM) 202-224-6621
Voinovich (R-OH) 202-224-3353
Smith (R-OR) 202-224-3753
Graham (R-SC) 202-224-5972
Johnson (D-SD) 202-224-5842
Cornyn (R-TX) 202-224-2934
Warner(R-VA) 202-224-2023
Rockefeller (D-VA) 202-224-6472

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