New York State Youth Leadership Council

News Roundup – Monday, July 25


Jul 11


The Good
Congress needs to wake up and finally pass the Dream Act
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated a $2.2 billion deficit reduction over 10 years if the DREAM Act were passed. Both the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security support the DREAM Act. It is now up to members of Congress to determine whether they are going to pass the bill, which would allow millions of undocumented young people to pursue the American dream. Congress must understand that the adolescents who would benefit from the DREAM Act aren’t going anywhere. This is their home and they intend to remain here.

Obama says he still supports DREAM Act
Obama, along with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, joined Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., in supporting the bill. In July 2008, when Obama ran for president, he promised the National Conference of La Raza he would make immigration reform a priority during the first year of his presidency, but we are still waiting for his action.President Barack Obama should defer action on the deportation of all potential DREAM Act beneficiaries.

California Dream Act: Opening college doors
Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) has spent much of his legislative career trying to persuade lawmakers to grant financial help to undocumented immigrant students attending state colleges or universities. With AB 130, a bill that is part of proposed legislation known as the California Dream Act, Cedillo has addressed those concerns and produced a bill worthy of adoption. It has passed both houses of the Legislature, and Gov. Jerry Brown should make it law. The measure would make illegal immigrant students eligible only for private scholarships derived from nonstate funding.

A DREAM Come True for Illinois’ Undocumented
A source told Patch that Quinn would sign the legislation on Aug. 1, making Illinois the first state in the country to create a privately funded scholarship program for undocumented high school graduates who want to attend college

Letter: Durbin clarifies DREAM Act
The DREAM Act isn’t amnesty — participants must meet strict conditions, such as completing two years of college or serving in the military, in order to qualify, and it only applies to students who grew up in this country. A recent study found that the talented students who qualify for the DREAM Act could contribute $1.4-$3.6 trillion to the U.S. economy during their working lives. The DREAM Act isn’t only justice for kids who have spent their entire lives here, pledging allegiance to the U.S. flag; it’s an investment in their future and ours.

Erick Velazquillo in court today, could be deported
Velazquillo has decided to take the brave route, make his story public and to fight the system through its own processes. He’s no criminal and he didn’t come here on his own accord. But he’s here now, this is his home, and he’s going to do all he can to stay here.

The Bad
Program aims to secure jobs for U.S. citizens
California Republicans are pushing a bill that would require employers to electronically verify the immigration status of potential hires, despite warnings from farmers that it will devastate their workforce.

The Ugly
Alabama Takes No Steps Forward and Two Steps Back on Immigration
Gov. Robert Bentley (R) signed H.B. 56 into law on June 9, 2011, an anti-immigration bill even harsher than Arizona’s infamous S.B. 1070. Like S.B. 1070, the bill allows police to arrest anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant even if they’re stopped for a minimal traffic violation. The bill makes it a criminal offense in Alabama to rent a house or apartment to undocumented immigrants or to knowingly give an undocumented immigrant a ride. It also makes E-Verify, a faulty and expensive Internet-based verification mechanism, mandatory for employers. “In passing the most extreme anti-immigrant law in the nation, Alabama has shown the era of Jim Crow, a racial caste system mandated by law, continues as well,”  said Mary Bauer, legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “H.B. 56 is the new Jim Crow,” she continued. “No doubt this law is rooted in intolerance and hate.”

DREAM Act Now in Hands of Maryland Voters
After taking their grievance to the Internet, opponents of in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants have succeeded in securing a referendum spot for Maryland’s DREAM Act, according to the Baltimore Sun. The State Board of Elections has reportedly accepted 108,923 signatures; only 55,000 were required to get a referendum question on the 2012 ballot.