With President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign in full swing some Democratic Lawmakers are pushing the administration to include the DREAM Act in the Party Platform.
Three Democratic Senators from Southwestern states are asking that the DREAM Act be included in the party platform for the Democratic National Convention in an effort to get the support of Latino voters. They believe that formally supporting the act would give voters a clear choice on the issue of immigration.
Leading the effort is Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, who said, “I think the time has come for the DREAM Act to be part of our identity as a party.”
The DREAM Act has been praised by immigration advocacy groups who have long pushed for a humane way to deal with the estimated 800,000 young immigrantscurrently living in the country . Under this law, young immigrants who were brought into the U.S. illegally by their parents would be given the opportunity to apply for a work visa without fear of deportation.
However, the bill has been defeated in Congress on a number of occasions with no alternative being presented. In 2010 Senate Democrats overwhelmingly voted to make the DREAM Act law but it was blocked by the Republican-controlled House.
President Obama recently announced that he would use “prosecutorial discretion” and allow young immigrants deferred action for deportation. Beginning August 15th, the USCIS will begin taking applications which will allow immigrants under the age of 30 and above 15 the chance to legally reside in the U.S. as long as they meet certain criteria.
Although the act would allow young immigrants to come out of the shadows, it is not a pathway to citizenship, which has been the major criticism for the act’s opponents. The route to citizenship is long and complicated, but an immigration attorney can make it simpler and increase the likelihood of success.