Overview: Pushing for the DREAM Act

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A U.S. Senate committee held a hearing on the DREAM Act for the first time ever Tuesday.

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act would provide legal residency to those who have lived in the United States since at least age 15 if they complete college or military service for at least two years.

Most of those who would benefit from the passage of the act had no say in whether to come to the United States. Moreover, the act benefits the most educated and the most dedicated immigrants in the country.

Texas is one of 13 states that offers in-state tuition for undocumented students, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in the hearing. “Today, undocumented students in Texas are almost five times more likely to enroll in postsecondary education as undocumented students in nearby states that don’t offer them in-state tuition,” Duncan said.

The state already spends a significant amount of money educating those who would benefit from the act. By denying them access to the workforce, not only are those who have worked hard to earn an education unfairly disadvantaged, but the state loses its investment as well.

The Senate committee hearing was a positive step toward necessary immigration reform. While it is disappointing to see Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, speak out against the act, we hope members of Congress who support the act continue to push for its passage.