They arrived in their mother's arms, or perhaps they were old enough to go to school but always too young to have a say in their family's plans. Now, years later, they are poised to go to college or enter the military and become productive Americans.
Except they can't because their parents years ago overstayed their visas or entered the United States illegally.
In the charged political environment that is Washington today these young people's futures -- and our nation's economic potential -- are being held hostage to political posturing of the worst kind.
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, known as the Dream Act, has had bipartisan support in Congress since it was first introduced in 2001. It has had majority support, in fact, but the Senate's 60-vote cloture rule on filibusters has stopped common sense on immigration reform.
That can change today.
The Dream Act would apply only to young adults who arrived as minors before age 16, have been in the United States for at least five years and are on track to go to college and get, at minimum, a two-year degree, or serve in the U.S. military with an honorable discharge. Their reward would be a green card with the potential for U.S. citizenship years later.
They didn't decide to come to this country as children, but over the years these young people have been immersed in all things American. Some can't even speak their parents' language, know little about their homeland's history and consider themselves American. Some didn't even learn that they were here without papers until they applied for college and were told by their parents they had no papers.
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