|Congresswoman Pelosi addresses the need for comprehensive immigration reform at St. Anthony’s Church in |
The United States is a country made up of immigrants, and it is part of what makes us so strong and vibrant. In America, the beauty is in the mix. We must enact comprehensive immigration reform that is humane, does not divide families, and addresses the growing disconnect between our nation’s policy and the reality on the ground in cities and communities across our country. While ensuring that comprehensive immigration reform continues to honor our American tradition of being a nation of immigrants, we must also secure our borders, enforce our laws, and ensure the safety of the American people.
In 2010, the Democratic-led House passed the DREAM Act, a common-sense bill that would give students who grew up in the United States a chance to contribute to our country’s well-being by serving in the U.S. Armed Forces or pursuing a higher education. This limited, targeted legislation will allow only the best and brightest young people to earn their legal status after a rigorous and lengthy process, and applies only to young people who have lived here for at least five years before the date of enactment, and who were brought to the U.S. by their parents as minors, through no fault of their own.
Unfortunately, the bill did not pass the Senate. The DREAM Act is the right thing to do—both economically and morally for our country, and it is for young people who mostly know no other home. Although the DREAM Act has yet to be signed into law at the federal level, the state of California enacted a related law making a limited group of young, highly-motivated individuals eligible for state financial aid at public universities and community colleges.
We must keep fighting to advance comprehensive immigration reform, and to fulfill our pledge to the hundreds of thousands of young people who call our nation home and strive to take part in the American Dream.
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