Democrats push for DREAM Act passage

Undocumented students may still have a chance at citizenship and the opportunity to pursue their American dream.
The DREAM Act passed the House of Representatives 216-198 on Dec. 8, but still must pass the Senate.
The Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act would allow undocumented students to obtain their U.S. residency and be eligible for financial aid.
It would repeal a 1996 bill that prevents immigrants from getting financial aid.
Democrats are pushing for the bill to pass before the end of the year because they will lose significant power in January.
Most Republicans, including Sen. Bill Snyder, are against it.
“Tell me why an illegal immigrant should get an in-state tuition when a legal student of out of state cannot?” reported Snyder as asking.
To become a U.S. resident under the DREAM Act, people must be ages 15-35, have lived five consecutive years in the United States, speak English, and have attended any college or served in the military for at least two years. People would also have had to come to the U.S. before they turned 16.
Most Americans support the Dream Act. United Farm Workers reports that 70 percent of the American is in favor of the bill.
Ellen Salazar, Mandela’s Academy Program Coordinator believes students should be given a chance to succeed.
“It’s a no brainer,” said Salazar. “We want to reward children [and] we want them to be productive members of society. It’s ridiculous how we throw away human talent.”
Some students think the bill will help those who hope to go to college.
 “It’s a good thing. It gives [students] opportunities,” said Karina Aguilar, a junior at Media Academy.
But not all believe passing the DREAM Act is the right thing to do.
 “If you came here illegally, I’m not going to reward you for committing a crime,” said Eric DuBois, the case manager at Media Academy.
Principal Daniel Hurst of Architecture Academy has other hesitations about the DREAM Act.
“I believe we need to [address] the bigger idea of immigration. It will help in the long run,” said Hurst.