The Immigration Issue is Heating Up

I attended a workshop sponsored by Juntos on Sunday, June 9th, 2013.  It was an outline of the proposed Dreamers Act.

The DREAM Act (acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) is an American legislative proposal first introduced in the Senate on August 1, 2001, S. 1291 by Dick Durbin and Orrin Hatch.[1]
This bill would provide conditional permanent residency to certain immigrants of good moral character who graduate from U.S. high schools, arrived in the United States as minors, and lived in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill's enactment. If they were to complete two years in the military or two years at a four-year institution of higher learning, they would obtain temporary residency for a six-year period. Within the six-year period, they may qualify for permanent residency if they have "acquired a degree from an institution of higher education in the United States or [have] completed at least 2 years, in good standing, in a program for a bachelor's degree or higher degree in the United States" or have "served in the armed services for at least 2 years and, if discharged, [have] received an honorable discharge".[2] Military enlistment contracts require an eight-year commitment, with active duty commitments typically between four and six years, but as low as two years.[3][4] However, the military does not allow illegal immigrants to enlist,[5][6] and those that have enlisted have done so under a false identity, or used fraudulent documents.

The meeting took place at the Houston Center.  The meeting was conducted entirely in Spanish and gave me a great chance to increase my listening skills.  It was well attended and I learned a lot from the process.  I was surprised that only Spanish speaking residents attended.

Southeast Philadelphia has become a melting pot for immigrants from throughout Central America and Southeast Asia.  Cambodians and Nepalis immigrants have populated our recent phone give aways in record numbers.  I feel that they are working hard to become diligent citizens.  There is definitely a language barrier but they are respectful.  We are home to Egyptians, Mexicans, Hmong and many other refugees.

I feel that this is a worthy act.  Many individuals have come here seeking economic prosperity.  If they meet the terms of the proposed Dream Act, I feel they should be rewarded with citizenship.  I will report back as the bill progresses.

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