Saturday, December 4, 2010

10 Reasons to Pass the DREAM Act

I liked this, so I thought I'd post it.

10 Reasons We Need The DREAM Act
Posted by Stephanie Valencia on December 03, 2010 at 03:25 PM EST

In the coming days, Congress will vote on the DREAM Act – a common-sense piece of legislation drafted by both Republicans and Democrats that will give young people who grew up in the United States a chance to contribute to our nation by pursuing a higher education or serving in the U.S. armed forces. It’s limited, targeted legislation that will allow only the best and brightest to earn their legal status, and applies to those brought to the United States as minors through no fault of their own by their parents, and who know no other home.

Here are 10 reasons we need the DREAM Act:

1. Like Ginkgo Biloba, It’ll Make Us Smarter: Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has stated that passing the DREAM Act will “play an important part in the nation’s efforts to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020,” something vital for America to remain competitive in today’s global economy.

2. For Ivan Rosales: With the DREAM Act, young people like Ivan Rosales, who came to the United States when he was a year old, can become doctors and work towards a cure for cancer. Ivan’s brother, a National Guardsman, and his brother-in-law, an Iraq veteran, inspired his dream to serve as a doctor in the military, before going on to work as a cancer researcher. Without the DREAM Act, Ivan and others like him have no way to even stay in the country, much less serve it.

3. Uncle Sam Says, The DREAM Act supports our troops: Secretary of Defense Gates has written to DREAM Act sponsors citing the rich precedent of non-citizens serving in the U.S. military and stating that “the DREAM Act represents an opportunity to expand [the recruiting] pool, to the advantage of military recruiting and readiness.

4. For Gaby Pacheco: So Gaby Pacheco, who was the highest ranked J-ROTC student in her high school and president of her college student government, can serve in the Air Force and eventually live out her dream of working with special needs children.

5. It Helps Separate The Bad Guys From The Good Guys: Secretary Napolitano
believes this targeted legislation provides a firm but fair way to deal with innocent children brought to the U.S. at a young age so that the Department of Homeland Security can dedicate their enforcement resources to detaining and deporting criminals and those who pose a threat to our country.

6. For David Cho: So David Cho, who graduated from high school with a 3.9 GPA, plays seven instruments and is the drum major at UCLA, can live his dream of serving the United States in the Air Force.

7. It’s Bipartisan: The DREAM Act is a bipartisan piece of legislation designed to stop punishing innocent young people for the actions of their parents by giving them the chance to obtain legal status by pursuing a higher education, or by serving in the U.S. armed forces for the country they've grown up in and love as their own.

8. For Cesar Vargas: So Cesar Vargas, a proud Brooklyn kid, can live his dream to serve in the military as a JAG officer or on the front line as an intelligence officer with the Marines. He wants to “earn [his] place next to the great heroes of our nation that have and are fighting to defend our Constitution."

9. It Will Help Our Economy: According to a recent UCLA study, students that would be impacted by the DREAM Act could add between $1.4 to $3.6 trillion in taxable income to our economy over the course of careers, depending on how many ultimately gain legal status. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the DREAM Act in its current form will cut the deficit by $1.4 billion and increase government revenues by $2.3 billion over the next 10 years.

10. It’s The Right Thing To Do: It’s just plain common sense and it’s the right thing to do. For more information on the DREAM Act, view the fact sheet.

Stephanie Valencia is an Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement

Friday, December 3, 2010

DREAM Act Needs Your Calls!

How to call congress:

If you have never called a member before don’t stress. It is pretty easy:

1. Dial the switchboard 1-866-587-3023
2. Ask operator for a member from the target list
3. When receptionist picks up leave a message urging the member to vote yes on DREAM.

The week of DREAM Act is finally here and we need to step it up right now. We are focusing on calls all this week and need you to really step it up here. Below is a detailed target list, you can easily call all of the members and leave a quick message of support, if you can’t for whatever reason call everyone then pick at least 5 from each list and call them.

Call the switchboard (866-587-3023) and ask for the following members:

Senate Democrats:

Conrad (ND)
Dorgan (ND)
McCaskill (MO)
Webb (VA)
Warner (VA)
Landrieu (LA)
Pryor (AR)
Tester (MT)
Hagan (NC)

Senate Republicans:

Hutchison (TX)
Brownback (KS)
Murkowski (AK)
Kirk (IL)
Bennett (UT)
Voinovich (OH)
Snowe (ME)
Collins (ME)
Lemieux (FL)
Lugar (IN)
Bunning (KY)


Cooper, Jim TN-05, Tanner, John TN-8, Bishop, Sanford GA-02, Boccieri, John OH-16, Boucher, Rick VA-09, Dahlkemper, Kathy PA-03, Hall, John NY-19, Herseth-Sandlin, Stephanie SD-AL, Holden, Tim PA-17, Kirkpatrick, Ann AZ-01, Kissell, Larry NC-08, Marshall, Jim GA-08, Michaud, Michael ME-02, Mollohan, Alan WV-01, Nye, Glenn VA-02, Peters, Gary MI-09, Ross, Mike AR-04, Shuler, Heath NC-11, Spratt, John SC-05, Visclosky, Peter IN-01, Wilson, Charlie OH-06, Barrow, John GA-12, Peterson, Colin MN-07, Murphy, Scott NY-20, Arcuri, Michael NY-24, Baird, Brian WA-3, Boyd, Allen FL-02, Deutch, Ted FL-19, Ellsworth, Brad IN-08, Higgins, Brian NY-27, Matheson, Jim UT-02, Miller, Brad NC-13, Owens, Bill NY-23, Ryan, Tim OH-17, Schrader, Kurt OR-05, Scott, David GA-13, Stupak, Bart MI-01, Chandler, Ben KY-06, Adler, John NJ-03, Space, Zach OH-18, Halvorson, Deborah IL-11, Pomeroy, Earl ND AL

Taken from

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Immigrant Students

Immigrant Students, DREAM Act Supporters Hoping Obama Will Take Up Their Cause
By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor

As the much-anticipated presidential inauguration of Barack Obama approaches, one group of immigrant activists in particular is feverishly pushing for their cause to be heard by the incoming president. They are young undocumented immigrant students who grew up in the U.S. and their supporters, who are hoping that the new administration will push for passage of the DREAM Act, a law that would allow the students to become U.S. citizens provided they meet certain conditions.
Undocumented students, hoping to come out of the shadows.

Hoping to come out of the shadows. (Video capture:

Their cause got an extra bit of support through an online contest organized by, a social action network (not to be confused with the president-elect’s website

For the last few weeks, the site hosted an online vote to select “the best ten ideas for change,” which will be announced today at an event at the National Press Club.

The contest was born as a response to Obama’s call to Americans to get involved in their government. “We started the Ideas for Change in America initiative in the hope that we could translate the energy behind the Obama election into a citizen-led movement for change around the major issues we face,” the organizers said.

Thousands of ideas were submitted and over 600,000 votes were cast. Activists for causes as varied as marijuana legalization, gay marriage, and green energy mobilized to make their voices heard and to gather votes for their ideas. As of 5pm EST Thursday, when the vote closed, passage of the DREAM Act stood in eighth place, making it one of the ten winners. (Marijuana legalization was first.)

Undocumented students campaigned actively online to drum up votes for their cause, as one of them narrates here.

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) would give undocumented students brought to the U.S. by their parents conditional legal status and eventual citizenship if they met all of the following requirements:

* they were brought to the United States before they turned 16, are below the age of 30,
* have lived here continuously for five years,
* graduated from a U.S. high school or obtained a GED
* have good moral character with no criminal record and
* attend college or enlist in the military.

The DREAM Act emerged in response to the plight of thousands of immigrant students who, after growing up here, could not continue a normal life after graduating from high school or college because of the manner in which they entered the country — many of them when they were infants.

“Many American students graduate from college and high school each year, and face a roadblock to their dreams: they can’t drive, can’t work legally, can’t further their education, and can’t pay taxes to contribute to the economy just because they were brought to this country illegally by their parents or lost legal status along the way,” said.

The bill was in Congress in 2007. But it failed a Senate vote to defeat a Republican filibuster. On the occasion, The New York Times editorial board commented,

Who could be threatened, after all, by new high school graduates who were brought here by their parents, grew up in America, and yearn to get a college degree or to serve the country in uniform — but are stuck in a paperwork trap that can’t be opened?

But the Senate’s message was like a speech from a prison warden in a bad juvenile-delinquent movie: You’re illegal. You’re going to stay that way. We don’t like your kind., a site created by undocumented students, has plenty of stories of those who would benefit from this bill. Like that of Piash, a Bangladeshi-born student, who says he only learned that he was undocumented during his sophomore year of high school.

“I came home to show my parents that I got a 100 on my driver’s ed class and I wanted to go to DMV to get my learner’s permit,” he writes. “My parents told me that my dad’s asylum case was still pending in court and they didn’t know how long it would take… I was an American in every way except where it really mattered: documents.” (DreamActivist lists dozens of blogs started by other students.)

In addition to this largely symbolic victory, the students’ cause seems to have won one of the most important votes: that of the incoming president, who has expressed his support for the bill in the past. Now, they hope Obama will help make it law.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Last Day! Vote for DREAM Act on!

Have you voted yet? Have you told everyone you know to vote? If not, what are you waiting for? There only a few hours left! Voting ends TODAY at 5pm ET. Vote here. Currently we are in 8th place and only the top ten will be counted, so let's keep DREAM Act on top.

Just a quick reminder to everyone, if you have already voted please log back into your account and make sure your vote has actually registered with the site. Once you are logged in click the DREAM Act idea and the vote box should be red, if the vote box is blue then you have not yet voted.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Exercise Your Right to Act

Time is ticking away to vote at for DREAM Act. Voting ends Jan. 15th! Vote here!


The Obama website has decided to follow the lead of and is now allowing for people to create ideas and also vote / comment on them. An idea for the DREAM Act has already been created, now we just need the votes to get us ranked.

Like the idea, this one also requires you to create an account however it does NOT require you to confirm your account so one less step. Click the above link and you will be prompted to make an account, after doing so click back on the link and vote up (or down. . .). Each vote up is worth 10 points, the top idea currently has 900 votes and so we only need 900 to 1000 to get noticed! Go here to vote on the Obama website (different from!!!!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Video: An Unfinished DREAM

Interested in DREAM Act? Want to help pass the DREAM Act? Check out this video, An Unfinished DREAM.

Then after watching it make sure to rate it, comment on it,favorite it and send it around to friends / post on blogs etc. The more attention the better!

Let's get the national spotlight on Obama's promise to pass the DREAM Act.

Also don't forget if you haven't voted already, to vote for the DREAM Act at