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Home Sections MiscellaNEWS DREAM Act Passes the House: Now Comes Up Before the Senate for Approval
DREAM Act Passes the House: Now Comes Up Before the Senate for Approval PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 10 December 2010 13:16

 

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

Journal Group Link International)

  

C HICAGO (jGLi) – The DREAM Act, the immigration stand-alone measure that could benefit tens of thousands of young Filipino non-resident aliens, passed the bipartisan majority votes of 216 to 198 in the House of Representatives Wednesday (Dec. 8) on the Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

 

The Senate bill version will be up for a vote soon – after the Republican senators withdraw their threat to block it by the use of the filibuster method. Supporters of this measure are being asked to call the U.S. Senate at 202-224-3121 to urge their senators to legalize the status of those children who came to the U.S. under 16-years old provided they completed high school or had enlisted in the U.S military for two years.

 

National Chair Eduardo Navarra of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) said, “We commend the eight Republicans and 208 Democrats who did the right thing for immigrant students by voting for this bill.

 

“We also thank the many organizations and hundreds of committed activists whose tireless energy and relentless advocacy made yesterday’s historic vote possible,” adds Chairman Navarra.

 

“Among them are Filipino students who compose approximately 40-44 percent of the non-resident student population. Their courage in speaking out and telling their stories made a big difference in moving this legislation forward. Let’s make their dream a reality by flooding Senate offices today with phone calls.”

 

Congressman Scott Speaks for the DREAM Act

 

F ilipino-American Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (Dem.-VA-03), Executive Board Member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said: “The DREAM Act will allow non-resident students who grew up in the United States an opportunity to pursue higher education or serve in the military. By doing so, we not only contribute to our economy and our nation’s defense, but also reduce the prospects of crime, welfare and other problems and costs associated with lack of education or work skills.”

 

For his part, Rep. Mike Honda (Dem.-CA-15), chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), along with CAPAC executive board members, issued the following statements applauding today’s passage of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, a bill which provides for conditional permanent resident status for undocumented students who arrived at in our country at a young age.

 

Mr. Honda said, “As chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I fought hard for this bill because Asian American and Pacific Islanders have a major stake in the immigration debate with over 1.5 million Asian undocumented immigrants in the US.

 

“That's 12-percent of all undocumented immigrants, a demographically-disproportionate number given that AAPIs comprise 4.4-percent of American society.

 

“When it came to the DREAM Act, however, the stake was even more stark.  In my state of California, for example, over 40-percent of DREAM Act beneficiaries are Asian. Now that the DREAM Act passed, 65,000 of our best-behaving students graduating high school every year – honor roll students, star athletes, talented artists and aspiring teachers – will be able to enter college or the military, gain upward mobility and contribute $3.6-trillion in taxes over the next 40 years.”





S enator Daniel K. Akaka (Dem.-Hawaii): “Children who grow up in our great country and know no other homeland, who graduate high school here, obey the law, and seek to contribute to our society, deserve the opportunity to join the military, go to college, start a career, and pursue the American dream. It is cruel to punish them for something they had no control over.”


Congressman Eni Faleomavaega (AS), CAPAC Vice Chair: “The Dream Act is an important piece of legislation that will give many young people an opportunity to further pursue their education given their adverse circumstances.  Through no fault of their own, we must not penalize the children of those who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents at such a young age.  It is only fair that we give them an opportunity, which, I believe, will not only improve our U.S. workforce but will be a great help to our U.S. military.”

Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo (GU), CAPAC Secretary: "The American DREAM Act represents an opportunity to address an important issue to the Asian-American and Pacific-Islander community. I have heard from many of my constituents who support this bill, and along with the leaders of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, I urge the Senate to move quickly to pass this legislation."

 

Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-31), CAPAC Executive Board Member: “The dream is within reach of becoming reality. And it’s no mystery why both Democrats and Republicans supported the DREAM Act—it’s a sensible solution that embodies fundamental American values. This bill pulls from the shadows children who grew up pledging allegiance to our flag, speaking our language and—despite difficult circumstances—graduating from our high schools.

 

"Pay your fees and taxes, put on the uniform to serve our country or excel so that you are college bound. That is the way to get on the right path as an immigrant. The DREAM Act is not only the right thing to do for some of the best and brightest children caught in a broken immigration system, it is a smart thing to do for our country and our future." # # #

 

Editor’s Note: To contact the author, please e-mail him at:  (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

 



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Comments (5)
1 Saturday, 11 December 2010 12:02
While I'm a Fil-Am Republican, I'm not opposed to the Dream Act legislation. I know that there will a lot of Asian and Hispanic children who will benefit from it. They could be our own relatives and friends. I'm making it clear though that Republicans are not against minorities as some other people think. Republicans are only against waste of taxpayers' hard-earned dollars and spending of money that we don't have because we don't want to jeopardize the future our children's children.

The real reason why many Americans and Washington leigislators are opposed to this is because of ignorance. They seem to have forgotten the fact that the reason why the United States is the greatest nation on the face of the earth is because of those hard-working and resourceful immigrants who came to this country in search of better life and opportunity. Those uninformed Americans oppose this legislation because they are misled by those people who are still living in the past-----those with misguided beliefs or those who are just plain racists.

The Dream Act, if it ever passes, would be one of the most noble legislations ever conceived by congressional lawmakers in Washington. And I'm sure that the Founding Fathers and Framers of the U.S. Constitution would have fully endorsed it.

What's wrong if this great nation allows those kids and young adults to gain citizenship? We have seen most of them doing their part as student leaders and brave young soldiers ready to give their lives for a country that they have always called their own. They are law-abiding citizens who possess God-given talents and potentials to make this country even greater.

But other Americans don't see it that way. What they mistakenly see is "free education and free health care" for those young people. And sadly, I don't think that they have even read and fully comprehend the guidelines and provisions of the Dream Act. Let's just hope and pray that they are enlightened.

Don Azarias
2 Saturday, 11 December 2010 12:05
Bravo Don, I couldn't have said it better than you did !

Eduardo Navarra
NaFFAA National Chair
3 Saturday, 11 December 2010 12:08
Toto NaFFAA Chair Ed,

I'm glad we are in this together....Thanks.

Lope
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4 Saturday, 11 December 2010 12:11
Lope,

So Ed is now "Toto", just like "Toto Nanding" - because he's now our head honcho. Of course, I've always supported more-progressive immigration laws, and the Dream Act truly deserves bi-partisan support.

I'm a Republican, too, but not GOP. Only Ed N. can fathom the kind of Republican I really am.

Addi
Minneapolis, MN
5 Sunday, 12 December 2010 16:06
Addi, I have not seen Ed for sometime now. There's some impulse in me to call him Toto, more so now that as the NaFFAA chairman, he's lending his name and high position to support a law that will truly help hard working young people who were brought here by their economic opprtunity seeking parents who are looking after their children's future... Not too convincing or good reason to us, but what can we do? They are here already.....shall we just let them grow up undereducated..?

Thanks.

Lope

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