Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Senator Dick Durbin at the first-ever Senate hearing on the DREAM Act before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security

Earlier today the first-ever Senate hearing on the DREAM Act was held and broadcast live via Senator Durbin's website.  Senator Dick Durbin [D-IL] (my Senator!) chaired this hearing earlier today and I have embedded video of his introductory comments below.  You can learn more about the DREAM Act via the DREAM Act Portal here. What are your thoughts on the DREAM Act?


  1. Senator Durbin's introduction provides an emotionally compelling argument for welcoming the outstanding students who would like to join the American family. Numbers, of course, provide precision and it would have been helpful if Durbin provided at least an estimate of how many undocumented students/workers he hoped to legalize. What are the actual English language requirements? I hope they are higher than the extremely low 2nd grade standards that made a parody of the naturalization process in the Clinton rush. What about requiring at least a high school diploma or GED?

    While I hope that some version of the Dream Act passes, I'd also prefer the Congress first focus on expanding greencard opportunities for graduate students studying here. Why? Because these graduate students will bring their specialized skills into the American workforce and clearly contribute to the American economy. It also seems rather odd that we admit hundreds of thousands of ambitious, smart international students to study at our universities - and then send them away as soon they after acquired the knowledge and practical skills that could contribute to an innovative, creative, and technologically sophisticated society. Where are we sending away engineers, doctors, nurses, and teachers? What's that about?
    Finally, I would suggest that we owe more to legal immigrants that have played by the rules, gone to embassies, studied in our colleges, and obeyed our laws. We do want to be a nation of laws, don't we?

  2. Here in San Antonio, Texas we have several students that are undocumented or not citizens. Each of these students have dreams and ambitions. They should be allowed to persue their dreams regardless of their status.

    Under the rigorous provisions of the DREAM Act, “qualifying undocumented youth would be eligible for a 6 year long conditional path to citizenship that requires completion of a college degree or two years of military service (” This provides an opportunity for advancement in either direction that these young people choose. I feel the DREAM Act has opened the doors to further educate and enhance the future of all those here in the United States.

  3. The DREAM Act offers opportunities for young individuals that may not be available to them otherwise. However, I am skeptical as to how the DREAM Act provisions will be enforced and regulated. I hope that this will not be another government entity that sounds good on paper, but fails due to lack of oversight. There are certainly loopholes in the provision such as what constitutes “good moral character”? Who will be accountable for insuring that these individuals live up to the specific guidelines that are specified in DREAM Act? Since there are specific requirements that have to be met (such as completing 2 years of college or military service) does this mean that these individuals will be given special consideration over U.S. citizens and legal immigrants? Can a student go to a trade school rather than college? If a student fails during a college semester, is he or she given additional opportunities? If so, how many opportunities will be given? I feel that the DREAM Act has many unanswered questions. Personally, I feel that if an individual serves in the military and puts his or her life on the line for this country, he or she deserves to be an American citizen.

  4. @ V. Wise

    I think that because this is law...regulating it should be pretty easy. There was a student who came back to visit from college and he ended up detained at the airport because his "documentation was not in order". This was a big deal and because of the Dream Act he is able to continue his education at Harvard.

    All people here in the US should be entitled to an education if they are paying taxes and or serving our country.

    Kim Wood