The AFL-CIO Supports Moving the DREAM Act On It's Own

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In what can only be described as a momentous news for the migrant youth movement, the executive council of the AFL-CIO just came out in support of moving the DREAM Act on its own, this year.

The AFL-CIO has really become a fierce pro-migrant leader in the last few years.  This is best exemplified by an incredible pro-migrant speech which was recently delivered by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

The AFL-CIO has aligned itself with the migrant youth movement in asking that the DREAM Act be passed now in the wake of the inability of comprehensive immigration reform to pass this year.  That it did so is huge.  It also puts the AFL-CIO at odds with some of the more entrenched pro-migrant interests that have so far refused to rethink their failing strategies. 
These are difficult times, but within the migrant youth movement are strong pro-migrant leaders that will be leading the fight for migrants for a lifetime.  We will long remember who stood with us and who stood against us.  We're still waiting for a few supposedly pro-migrant politicians and organizations to stand with us, but I'm extremely grateful to the organizations that already have.  I am happy to count the AFL-CIO among them.

Below is the full statement from the AFL-CIO Executive Council:

Making the Dream A Reality
August 05, 2010
Washington, D.C.
AFL-CIO Executive Council statement

Every year, thousands of our nation's brightest and best students graduating high school find that the path to decent jobs and the doors of higher education and the military are essentially shut tight against them for one reason alone: They lack legal immigration status because as young children, they were brought to this country by their parents.

These children have grown up in the United States, attended local schools, and have demonstrated a sustained commitment to succeed in the educational system, but immigration laws provide no avenue for these students to become legal residents.  Instead of being allowed to continue to excel in college as they have in high school, these promising children will be forced into a job where they will have to either lie about their status, or work off the books.  Neither outcome is just, nor is it good for our society.

It is ironic that at the same time that business is calling for immigration reform that makes it easier for foreign high skilled workers to come to the US, America is sending some of our best and brightest into the underground economy.  Our nation has already made an investment in the education of these students.  Forcing them into the underground economy is an extensive loss of human capital.

The Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, would remedy this situation by allowing undocumented students who have lived in the United States for at least five years and have graduated from high school or received a graduate equivalency diploma (GED) to legalize their immigration status through pursuing a college education or serving in the U.S. military.

The DREAM Act would provide these hard-working immigrant students the chance to obtain conditional legal status, along with an opportunity to go to college, serve in our military, and become the productive, tax-paying citizens that they have worked so hard to become.  Access to higher education will allow these immigrants to make even greater contributions to our society, and decrease the numbers of those forced to live in poverty.  

Undocumented students have waited many years for this legislation to become law, yet have never had the support and political will needed from Congressional Leadership to succeed.  The time to act is now.

The AFL-CIO calls on members of Congress to take immediate steps to pass the DREAM Act in 2010 as down payment to Comprehensive Immigration Reform. 

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This actually happened before the AFL-CIO came out in support of moving the DREAM Act on its own this year, and might have had something to do with them doing so. ... Read More

2 Comments

Anna Author Profile Page said:

I am a 54 year old grandmother of 4, who has just lost an appeal to the Board of Immigration. My husband and I are faced with deportation and will be separated from our only daughter and grandchildren that we are raising.
We came from South Africa in 1987 and applied for Asylumn in 1988. The case took 16 years before it went to court and another 7 years later we were denied on the basis that the country is now independent. We appealed to the Board of Immigration but the case was dismissed.
Please help us with any suggestions or advise.
Thanks

Anna Author Profile Page said:

I am a 54 year old grandmother of 4, who has just lost an appeal to the Board of Immigration. My husband and I are faced with deportation and will be separated from our only daughter and grandchildren that we are raising.
We came from South Africa in 1987 and applied for Asylumn in 1988. The case took 16 years before it went to court and another 7 years later we were denied on the basis that the country is now independent. We appealed to the Board of Immigration but the case was dismissed.
Please help us with any suggestions or advise.
Thanks

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by kyledeb published on August 5, 2010 11:47 PM.

U.S. Senate Candidate Randy Parraz: "Don't Deport Marlen Moreno" was the previous entry in this blog.

The Center For American Progress Stands with Migrant Youth is the next entry in this blog.

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