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The DREAM Act Lives on; AILA Continues Push

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 10120910 (posted Dec. 9, 2010)"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, December 9, 2010

CONTACTS:
George Tzamaras / Jenny Werwa
202-507-7649 / 202-507-7628
gtzamaras@aila.org / jwerwa@aila.org

Senate Version Tabled in Anticipation of House Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) views today’s Senate vote to table the DREAM Act (S.3992) as a strategic move that will give more time to consider the version of the bill that passed the House last night and make the path to victory far simpler. The House version of the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors (DREAM) Act (H.R. 6497) passed on a vote of 216 to 198.

The unprecedented maneuver spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) builds on the incredible momentum the DREAM Act has gained and sets the Senate up for the critical final vote. The Senate can take up H.R. 6497 any time in the next several days, most likely after tax cuts and other big issues are resolved. AILA commends Reid’s skillful navigation of the legislative process to keep the dream alive for hundreds of thousands of high achieving immigrant students. By going with the House bill, the Senate can vote on it and send it directly to the President without the complications of resolving the differences between two bills.

“Coming off of the historical House vote of last night, slow and steady is the appropriate course to take as the momentum builds to finally make this dream a reality for deserving young people with unblemished records and promising futures,” said David Leopold, President of AILA. He continued, “But we need to get the DREAM Act past the finish line. We need to continue positive outreach to our senators urging them to do the right thing on this issue of social justice and fairness.”

The DREAM Act would provide a conditional pathway to legal permanent residence for certain unauthorized youth who, as children, were brought to the U.S. if they: complete high school; demonstrate good moral character; and complete at least two years of higher education or serve for at least two years in the U.S. military.

“We are at the precipice. AILA is committed to seeing this dream come true,” concluded Leopold.

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The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.