The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Michael Earls (202) 494-8555

Diverse Group of Democrats Line Up for DREAM Act, Call for Administrative Relief for DREAM-Eligible Youth

Senators Agree that it Serves No One to Deport Smart and Talented Young Leaders


A broad spectrum of the Democratic Senate caucus yesterday issued a letter to President Obama urging him to use his authority and grant relief from deportation to young people who would be eligible for the DREAM Act. The twenty-two senators wrote that they "would support a grant of deferred action" and other measures to grant relief to qualified DREAM students and reiterated their support for the DREAM Act, which passed the House of Representatives and received the support of 55 Senators last December, yet failed to receive the necessary 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a Republican filibuster and become law.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America's Voice, "In this letter, Democrats are banding together to call for a common sense change in administration policy, one that would allow talented young people to remain in the only country they know as home. Although the DREAM Act failed to become law last year, it had the support of a majority of Members of the House and the Senate, and only failed because of the Republican Party's short-sightedness and insular thinking on the immigration issue. Today Democrats from across the political spectrum are taking a bold stand to support immigration relief for young people who are Americans in every way but their citizenship. It serves no one to deport these young men and women who simply want a chance to go to college or join the military, and give back to this great nation. The Administration should embrace the Senators' proposal, which lays out practical ways that DHS can change the way it treats DREAM-eligible young people until Congress passes comprehensive immigration reform."

The 22 signers of the letter reflect a range of viewpoints and constituencies within the Democratic caucus. In addition to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and longtime DREAM Act champion Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and others facing re-election in 2012 are showing that supporting the DREAMers is not only a common sense and practical approach, but popular with voters who agree that it serves no one to deport these talented young Americans.

According to Sharry, "The President has clearly stated that the priority of his immigration enforcement agencies is to target serious criminals. The DREAM youth clearly do not fit that category and these twenty-two Senators are right to urge the Administration make good on the President's own commitment to these promising young people. These senators, from across the geographic and political spectrum, are setting an example as leaders who are putting common sense and American values ahead of the xenophobia and grandstanding that too often stand in the way of a sensible debate about immigration."

Read a Copy of the Democrats' Letter to President Obama:

America's Voice -- Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform. The mission of America's Voice is to realize the promise of workable and humane comprehensive immigration reform. Our goal is to build the public support and create the political momentum for reforms that will transform a dysfunctional immigration system that does not work into a regulatory system that does.