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DREAM Act Passes in the House

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM) passed in the House by a vote of 216-198 late yesterday. The Senate is expected to vote on the act today. The DREAM Act, introduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in 2001, would give eligible immigrants conditional permanent resident status and the opportunity to attend college or join the military. Those eligible must be between the ages of 18 and 34, have entered the United States prior to age 16, have obtained a high school diploma, and must attend college for at least two years or joined the military. Dolores Huerta, co-founder of United Farm Workers, stated “70 percent of the American public supports the DREAM Act. We want Congress to do the will of the American people and pass the DREAM Act.” The DREAM Act is particularly important for undocumented women and their children, whose median income is $16, 562 lower than US citizens. Without access to legal immigration status, undocumented women are increasing vulnerable to a vicious cycle of poverty. Leslye Orloff, Legal Momentum’s Vice President and Director of the Immigrant Women Program, stated, “The DREAM Act will greatly improve the lives of immigrant women and their children and particularly immigrant girls, enhancing their safety, well0being and economic capacity.”

Sources:

Christian Science Monitor 12/9/10; Washington Post 12/8/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 12/7/10