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The Heat 07/01/2012 "The Dream Act" for US unauthorized immigrants

07-06-2012 16:47 BJT

By Jessica Stone, CCTV Washington

.More than eleven million Hispano-Americans are living and working in the United States as unauthorized immigrants

Their children attend grade school, university, sometimes even serve in the US military—all without becoming citizens.

This piece of legislation—known as “the Dream Act”—would give the children of undocumented workers a path to citizenship.

If they’re between 16 and 35, and have lived in the US for at least five years and completed two years of university, or military service, are eligible.

For Mariella Saavedra, it means she can work as a health counselor, after completing her master degree.

MariellaSaavedra,“With the dream act, I will not only be able to work, I will be able to travel freely. I'll be able to give back to my family, back to my community, back to the U.S. economy.” But for opponents of the act, that path to citizenship is nothing more than amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Roy Beck,“They've got a compelling case. There’s a humanitarian thing to consider for amnesty of those people, but here's the problem with the Dream Act: No enforcement. It doesn't do a thing to keep parents from doing this to their kids anymore.”

Jessica Stone,"But despite being originally conceived by both republicans and democrats, the “Dream Act” was narrowly defeated in 2010. Republican senators who had previously supported it withheld their votes because it had no corresponding increase in immigration enforcement. It has not gone to a vote –since.

"These are young people who study in our schools."

Instead, president Barack Obama implemented *parts* of the dream act two weeks ago, when he announced a two-year suspension of deportations for young Hispanicsas long as they have no criminal record and are in school or have served in the US military.

It’s become a hot issue on the U.S. presidential campaign trail.

Barack Obama,“So lifting the shadow of deportation and giving them a reason to hope. That was the right thing to do.”
Mitt Romney(U.S. Presidential Candidate), "Now the president has been seized by doing what he could have done on day one, but didn't."

Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney has promised to veto the Dream Act.
But he supports a way to provide residency to the children of illegal immigrants through military service.

In the meantime, Roy Beck says, he'll continue to campaign against the Dream Act.

Roy Beck, “This is a job's issue, and if you add millions of people to the labor force, that has an effect on all the millions of Americans and legal immigrants already here who can't find a job.”

And MariellaSaavedra plans to help implement the president's temporary reprieve

Mariella Saavedra, “We don't have a path to citizenship. We don't have a path to residency, so there's still that component that would make us a part of society.”


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