LatinaLista — On March 26, 2009, the DREAM Act was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Durbin and in the House by Rep. Howard Berman.
(Source: AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Because it’s a different administration, one run by a President who stated on the record during his campaign that he was in favor of seeing the DREAM Act passed, hopes ran high that this would be the defining moment for over 60,000 young lives in this country who currently cannot either attend college at affordable tuition rates and/or put their degrees to work once they have them.
The assumption was that since President Obama favored this legislation it had a better chance at getting the necessary votes for passage. However, both the House and Senate versions of the bill are stuck in committees with no noticeable movement, and the buzz is that it’s going to take a stronger bill to make dreams come true.
Most Washington insiders considered the latest introduction of the DREAM Act as more of a litmus test for the bigger immigration reform bill rather than something that would pass on its own merits.
For the thousands of students across the country who were counting on the passage of the DREAM Act before the start of the next school year, indications are that it may take a while longer. However, sources tell Latina Lista that is a good thing for the bigger immigration reform fight.
Many immigration reform advocates feel by singling out just certain issues, a.k.a. the DREAM Act, from the overall measures that would be defined as Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) it weakens the push for the main fight.
Advocates consider this singling out of the issues as a piecemeal approach. For that reason, even advocates who want the DREAM Act to pass aren’t getting too upset that it has stalled out in committees. They know it will be included in the larger CIR bill, whatever shape that takes.
The only disappointment for all those students who were counting on it to pass by the time school starts in August is that they will have to wait a little while longer â€” and pray a little harder.
In the meantime, they can put what they learned in school to use by contacting their Senators and Representatives and urging them to vote in favor of comprehensive immigration reform and, of course, the DREAM Act.