Obama Calls on Congress to Pass DREAM Act

In his third State of the Union address, the president asked Congress to bring the DREAM Act, which would make it easier for illegal immigrants younger than 16 to become citizens and afford college, back to life after it failed last year.
by | January 25, 2012
Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy
 

Obama wants comprehensive federal immigration reform, he said in his third State of the Union address last night. But if that's not possible this year, he at the very least wants to give citizenship to children of illegal immigrants.

"If election-year politics keeps Congress from acting on a comprehensive plan, let’s at least agree to stop expelling responsible young people who want to staff our labs, start new businesses, and defend this country. Send me a law that gives them the chance to earn their citizenship. I will sign it right away," he remarked.

The DREAM Act, which would made it easier for illegal immigrants younger than 16 to become citizens and afford college, died in the Senate last year after passing through the House.

Several states -- including California, Maryland and Illinois -- recently passed similar versions of the DREAM Act. Texas enacted its version of the DREAM Act in 2001.

Sen. Charles Schumer, a proponent of immigration reform, told The Hill  that comprehensive legislation and the DREAM Act lack the Republican support needed to pass either this year. He did, however, say that the DREAM Act had a chance of passing if changes were made.

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