December 17, 2010
Dear Senator _________,
As you know, a cloture vote on the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2010 (H.R. 5281), is scheduled for Saturday (12/18). The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) strongly urges Senator _________ to vote in favor of cloture.
AILA urges Senator _________ to VOTE "YES" on cloture because:
The DREAM Act will benefit the U.S. economy
- A "yes" vote enables the Senate to move forward in consideration of the DREAM Act and possible amendments.
- The DREAM Act supports the U.S. Military by expanding the ranks of eligible recruits.
- The DREAM Act would benefit young people, including high-school valedictorians, honor students, student-athletes, and those enlisting in the military by providing them with an opportunity to pursue their dreams.
The DREAM Act has tough, stringent eligibility requirements and is not an amnesty
- DREAM Act recipients will generate at least $1.4 trillion for America in added wealth over the next 40 years, according to a UCLA study.
- The Congressional Budget Office score for H.R. 5281 projects that it would reduce the deficit by $2.2 billion from 2011 to 2020.
- Signficantly, for the purposes of the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 (Pay-Go), the bill would decrease on-budget deficits by $4 million over the same period.
- Unlike any previous versions of DREAM, H.R. 5281 imposes "surcharges" totalling $2,525 upon each applicant in addition to all the normal fees.
- All applicants must show good moral character from the date of entry into the U.S.
- H.R. 5281 excludes individuals with criminal convictions, including those with minor misdemeanors.
- All applicants must submit to background checks and a medical examination, and males must register for Selective Service.
- No one will get a greencard for at least 10 years.
- All applicants must wait in a probationary status for 10 years.
- All applicants must maintain good moral character throughout this period.
Border reform already enacted. By passing DREAM, the 111th Congress will have passed two major immigration reform bills. In August, Congress enacted a tough $600 million border and interior enforcement bill. Combined, both bills show that Congress worked together to address the immigration issue.
About the DREAM ACT
The DREAM Act provides qualified undocumented students with the opportunity to secure legal permanent status if they work hard and successfully complete a number of prospective educational or military requirements. These young people were brought to the United States by their parents at an age when they had no say in the decision. Many have spent the majority of their lives in the U.S. and consider themselves to be Americans. Like their U.S.-born peers, they dream of pursuing a higher education or serving in the military, but they are prevented from doing so because they lack legal status. The DREAM Act would provide an avenue for these young people to acquire legal status, pursue a college degree or join the U.S. armed forces.
The DREAM Act has enjoyed broad, bipartisan support since its original introduction. H.R. 5281 deserves consideration by all Senators. The bill keeps in place existing restrictions on states providing in-state college tuition rates. The new version also lowers the age of eligibility by 5 years, excluding anyone over 29 from applying. Those who receive conditional status under the DREAM Act also would be ineligible for Medicaid, food stamps and other government-funded benefits.
AILA urges Senator _________ to help America tap the limitless talents of these high-achieving, DREAM-eligible kids.
AILA, Director of Advocacy