Congressional Hispanic Caucus: ‘Now Is The Time’ for the DREAM Act

Nydia Velázquez (D-NY)

Nydia Velázquez (D-NY)

Over the past year, as young immigrant youth organized around the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, resistance came from an unexpected source: the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC). The CHC has long argued that the DREAM Act must be part of a comprehensive immigration bill that puts all undocumented immigrants on an earned path to legalization. Back in August, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated, “The Hispanic Caucus doesn’t want us to take one part of comprehensive immigration reform which may be easier to pass — but instead pass it as part of comprehensive immigration reform.”

Today however, at the Reform Immigration for America campaign’s “Relief, Reform, Respect for our Families” forum, CHC Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) announced that the caucus supports Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-NV) addition of the DREAM Act as an amendment to the defense authorization bill, stating “the time is now” for the DREAM Act:

As chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus I stand here before you to say that all along we have said to the Democratic leadership — in the House and in the Senate — and to the President every time we’ve met with him that we will not stand in the way of the DREAM Act, but there has to be a commitment that no amendments will be allowed to be included in this bill. We will support the DREAM Act. […]

And we stand here before you as a representative of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to say that the time is now and we call on Senator Reid and the senators to pass the DREAM Act.

Watch it:

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) — the lone Latino in the Senate — spoke before Velázquez and reiterated that he wants a vote on the DREAM act without amendments “so we can know who stands with those students.” Menendez also announced that he will introduce legislation — “not a framework” — outlining immigration reform. Menendez did not give a timeline for his bill, but assured the audience that it will include a “path to legalization.”

andrea nill

Andrea Christina Nill

It sounds like President Obama is likely on board with the strategy, telling La Opinion last week, “I just don’t want anybody to think that if we somehow just do the DREAM Act, that that solves the problem…We’ve got a bigger problem that we have to solve. We still need comprehensive immigration reform. The DREAM Act can be an important part of that, and, as I said, I’m a big supporter of that. But I also want to make sure that we don’t somehow give up on the bigger strategy.”

Andrea Christina Nill

Reposted with permission from The Wonk Room.


  1. hwood007 says

    I support the dream that anyone who joins the military for a complete tour without any trouble is a fine person and at discharge, will become a US citizen and also receive a GI bill to go to college. I have told my congress persons to vote against anything else as being unworthy. US citizenship is something a person earns if they are not here by legal means and I do not see how going to school is earning it.

  2. Sam Wise says

    No matter what you call it, amnesty for illegal aliens will backfire. The Dream Act not only gives amnesty, it allows non-American citizens to use public funds to pay for their college education. No matter how you dress that up, making it seem like a nice offer to teenagers who’re already living in this country, the fact is that there will be another backlash from moderates and the right wing. The Dream Act will mean the American taxpayers will have to fund the college education and/or housing costs, food costs and medical costs of people who should not be in this country at all. Instead of using public money to fund social services and education for American citizens, the money will go to children of illegal aliens. That’s not a dream, it’s a nightmare when the backlash hits. When will the left wing realize that being “nice” to illegal aliens really means making other people pay the bills for foreigners?

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