U.S. House of Representatives Passes the American Dream Act

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives voted today to pass the American Dream Act, legislation that would provide undocumented young women and men who were brought to the U.S. as young children with a pathway to citizenship if they attend college or perform military service. The vote was a major legislative victory for youth, education, immigration advocates, and above all for the country. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“Tonight’s vote in the House of Representatives to pass the American Dream Act was a win for youth, educators, our communities, and our economy. The hard-won battle will bring hundreds of thousands of undocumented Americans-at-heart one step closer to realizing their dreams of serving the only country they know and love.

Through their herculean efforts, the leaders of the DREAM youth movement moved Washington to do what is right for our communities. We know that when finally equipped with the tools to participate fully in our society, they will become the economic and societal boost we so desperately need. The American Dream Act would still be merely a dream were it not for United We DREAM Network and other youth-led groups.

The American Dream Act isn’t perfect: thousands of DREAMers who have waited nearly a decade for this moment have been excluded from the legislation due to a last-minute change in the age cap, and it makes them ineligible for a broad range of public benefits as well as the new federal tax credits in health reform that would make private health insurance more affordable. The bill also requires 10 years of conditional status before they will be eligible for citizenship.

It is, however, a solid first step towards creating an immigration system that meets our economic and societal needs. Tonight’s vote represents a major victory that brings us closer to broad and humane immigration reform.

DREAMers have been waiting to realize the American Dream since 2001 when the DREAM Act was first introduced. We applaud the House of Representatives for stepping up and not allowing these young people’s talents and commitment to their home country to remain dormant. We thank Speaker Pelosi, House Majority Leader Hoyer, House Majority Whip Clyburn, Representatives Berman, Gutierrez, Becerra, and Velazquez for their leadership, as well as all Representatives who worked for and voted to realize the American Dream Act. We also thank the DREAMers for their courage and inspiring leadership.

Senators, we urge you to follow in your colleagues’ footsteps. Please vote for swift passage of this critical legislation now.

Related Articles

Back to top button