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UPDATED: 'DREAM' Activism

[UPDATE (Dec. 1): The word from Capitol Hill is that Sen. Harry Reid filed a new DREAM Act bill yesterday that apparently addresses some of the issues Republicans were concerned about, so a vote on this bill will not likely happen this week after all. Hat tip to ImmigrationProf Blog.]

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are expected to take steps to reconsider the DREAM Act this week, so my e-mailbox is filling up with news flashes and action alerts from both supporters and opponents of the bill.

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act, would provide a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants who meet certain criteria and complete two years of college or military service. Opponents contend it is a form of amnesty for people who have broken U.S. laws. The bill had bipartisan support when it was first introduced in Congress back in 2001 but these days, its ardent supporters are Democrats and Republican support for it is iffy. Some Republicans, however, such as a former governor of Illinois, Jim Edgar, have publicly said that Congress should approve the bill.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan held a press conference with reporters this month to urge passage of the bill. Supporters who don't make headlines every day include the Denver City Council, Latino television news anchor Jorge Ramos, and Brown University President Ruth Simmons.

A group called Americans for Legal Immigration is a persistent opponent of the bill and dubs it "Dream Act Amnesty."

Meanwhile student activists continue to become more adept politically in mounting campaigns to get the deportation of some undocumented individuals postponed. Some of the undocumented youths who would benefit from the bill are participating in civil disobedience, thus risking deportation, while calling for passage of the proposed legislation.

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