Saturday, October 20, 2007

DREAM Act Organizational Sign-On Letter

Please send your organizational sign-ons to melissal@firstfocus.net

Dear DREAM Act allies,

As we reported earlier, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV) pledged in September that the DREAM Act will be brought to the Senate floor for a vote sometime before November 16th. A VOTE IS EXPECTED IN THE SENATE VERY SOON, EVEN AS EARLY AS NEXT WEEK. 

We are circulating this organizational sign-on letter prepared by our friends from First Focus to demonstrate that there is strong support for enacting the DREAM Act.  Unfortunately, at this time only national organizations can sign on to this letter but we encourage state and local organizations to write individual letters of support. Please contact Melissa Lazarin, Director of Education Policy, First Focus at melissal@firstfocus.net to sign your national organization to this important letter. THE DEADLINE FOR SIGN-ONS IS THIS MONDAY, OCTOBER 22, COB.

The content of the letter is also pasted below for your perusal. We are also including some useful materials to assist your advocacy efforts, including a summary of the DREAM ACT and responses to common myths about this proposal.

Thanks everyone for your hard work and please keep the phone calls and letters pouring in! We need to urge all Senators to pass the DREAM Act now!
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October XX, 2007

Dear Senator,

Representing a broad spectrum of national organizations, including education, civil rights, immigrant rights, children's advocacy, faith-based, and labor groups, we urge you to support the debate and passage of the "Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act."

The Senate has a tremendous opportunity to pass a modest and common-sense approach to addressing the tragic circumstances that 65,000 U.S.-raised immigrant students face each year upon graduating from high school.  The "DREAM Act" is legislation we have long supported that would allow individuals brought to the U.S. as children more than five years ago to earn a path to legal status starting after high school graduation.  To qualify for a green card they would have to demonstrate good moral character and graduate from community college, attend two years towards a four-year degree, or serve at least two years in the U.S. military.

The "DREAM Act" is unique in that the young people who would benefit from its passage had no say in the decision to come to this country, and current law provides no mechanism for them to adjust to legal status.  Nonetheless, these individuals have grown up in this country as Americans.  They include high school valedictorians, honors students, class presidents, and student athletes.  They also include future teachers, nurses, engineers, and community leaders.

The DREAM Act eligible students who graduated from high school in 2001—when the "DREAM Act" was first proposed in Congress—are now in their mid-20's.  Another 65,000 DREAM eligible students will graduate this Spring.  Passage of the "DREAM Act" is needed this year.

The fundamental question posed by the "DREAM Act" is whether our country is on the right path by allowing these home-grown talented individuals to remain here illegally and uneducated, or legally, educated, and free to fully contribute to our common future.  We urge you to consider the unique circumstances of these individuals, prioritize the future of this nation, and support the "DREAM Act."

Respectfully,

To subscribe to the DREAM listserv, please email Katherine Vargas at vargas@nilc-dc.org with "subscribe to DREAM listserv" in the subject line and include your contact information in the text of the email.

bh

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"The fundamental question posed by the "DREAM Act" is whether our country is on the right path by allowing these home-grown talented individuals to remain here illegally and uneducated, or legally, educated, and free to fully contribute to our common future. We urge you to consider the unique circumstances of these individuals, prioritize the future of this nation, and support the "DREAM Act."

Maybe the fudamental question is whether the welfare of the children of citizens will be advanced before that of the children of illegal aliens. After all, as I've said before, citizen children, even Hispanic American children, will be competing with illegal alien children for limited resources. For every illegal alien child, a Hispanic American or other ethnic group citizen child will be denied benefits. How many citizen children will be sacrificed to the agenda of illegal alien advocates?

Posted by: Horace | Oct 20, 2007 1:22:35 PM

This is a zero sum game, professor, because for every foreign child given DREAM Act benefits, the dream of an U.S. citizen will be denied. Time to tell us where your loyalties lie, professor, with the children of illegal immigrants, or with your fellow citizens. Like most Americans, my loyalty will be with my fellow citizens first, and always. I, along with the vast majority of Americans them, will fight against your unfair DREAM Act.

Posted by: George | Oct 20, 2007 1:34:22 PM

Actually, it is not a zero sum game. As Greenspan has clearly and loudly articulated on numerous occasions: education produces a greater return for the economy than almost any other investment. The DREAM Act is an fabulous investment in America for all citizens and residents of America.

Posted by: Francine Lipman | Oct 21, 2007 11:44:53 AM

"Actually, it is not a zero sum game. As Greenspan has clearly and loudly articulated on numerous occasions: education produces a greater return for the economy than almost any other investment. The DREAM Act is an fabulous investment in America for all citizens and residents of America."

Francine, we actually agree on the value of education, except when it comes to being edified by immigration lawyers.

The wikipedia definition of zero sum game is as follows: In game theory, zero-sum describes a situation in which a participant's gain or loss is exactly balanced by the losses or gains of the other participant(s). It is so named because when the total gains of the participants are added up, and the total losses are subtracted, they will sum to zero.

A zero sum game when applied to the DREAM Act is the fact that there are x number of dollars in the education pot. When we choose to give illegal aliens money from that pot, we take funds that would be used by citizens. While it would be nice to give the whole world a first class education, our country can only afford to take care of its own. Illegal immigrants owe their allegience to their homelands, and should always come second to citizens, even when it comes to education. Believe it or not, we have talented and needy citizens in this country. You'll have to explain to me why the taxpayers money should be spent on foreigners at the expense of citizens.

Posted by: Horace | Oct 21, 2007 6:19:33 PM

IT'S JUST ANOTHER AMNESTY. Read the facts: this isn't a program just for innocent little kids. It is allows ADULTS up to age 30 to gain citizenship. And all you have to do is "prove" that you broke federal law before the age of 16, which is impossible to verify.

IT'S A MASSIVE POPULATION GROWTH BILL. Once an illegal alien gets amnesty through the NIGHTMARE Act, they will then be able to petition to have their extended family enter the United States. Millions of people will be added to the population. Want more traffic, more sprawl, more construction? Support this bill!

Posted by: J.D. | Oct 21, 2007 6:25:10 PM

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