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Support the Dream Act (S.952/H.R.1842) with a Path to Citizenship

Background: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has long supported the
Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. With bipartisan backing for over a decade, this legislation would provide a path to citizenship and access to in-state tuition for qualified undocumented youth who were brought to the United States—some as infants—by their parents.

The current Senate version of the DREAM Act, S.952, also allows young people who have grown up and graduated from high school in the United States the opportunity to gain legal status and eventually earn their citizenship through higher education or military service.
Likewise, the House version bill, H.R.1842, contains these provisions.

Alternatives of the DREAM Act are being proposed by some lawmakers, including Senator Marco Rubio (FL). Unfortunately, his proposal does not include a specific path to citizenship. That is problematic because, although this variation of the DREAM Act would allow some undocumented youth to legalize their status, the inability to attain United States citizenship places these young men and women at risk of living as second class citizens in our society.

Problem/Issue: The changes to the DREAM Act offered by Sen. Rubio would create a permanent underclass of people who would be unable to receive the benefits and protections as American citizens. The U.S. Catholic bishops firmly believe that DREAM Act eligible youth should have an opportunity to earn their citizenship.

S.952/H.R.1842 is a thoughtful and sensible solution to the difficulties faced by many undocumented young immigrants who live in our communities and attend U.S. high schools, both respecting their human dignity and upholding our ideals of American Citizenship. We should enable these young “DREAMers” to contribute their service and talents to the United States, allowing them to fully live up to their potential by creating a path for them to earn their citizenship.

Sample Letter:

Dear Senator Kirk or Senator Durbin or Representative Biggert:

I write to ask that you support S.952/H.R.1842, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. This legislation provides a path to citizenship for young immigrants who entered the United States with their parents.

The DREAM Act represents the kind of practical and compassionate immigration solution that respects the dignity of young immigrants living in our communities and attending U.S. high schools. Not including a path to citizenship in the DREAM Act, as some favor, would render thousands of people to second class citizenship and, in some cases, stateless.

As you deliberate on the various DREAM Act proposals, please remember that DREAM Act eligible youth are among the best and brightest of America’s recent high school graduates and want to give back to the nation in which they reside. We should allow them to fully live up to their potential and contribute their talents and service to our country by providing them a path to citizenship, not second class legal status.

I urge you to now support and work for the enactment of S.952/H.R.1842.


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Send your letters to:
Senator Dick Durbin
230 S. Dearborn
Suite 3892
Chicago, IL 60604

Senator Mark Kirk
230 S. Dearborn
Suite 3892
Chicago, IL 60604

Rep Judy Biggert
6262 S. Route 83;
Suite 305
Willowbrook, IL 60527


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