Reid: Congress to Vote on "Dream Act"

Via McJoan at Daily Kos, Sen. Harry Reid says the defense authorization bill will include an amendment with the Dream Act, creating a path to citizenship for the undocumented who came to the U.S. as children.

Who qualifies? Those who have lived in the U.S. for five years, arrived in the U.S. before turning 16, and have completed at least two years of college or two years in the military.

Republicans aren't happy, but they will probably vote for the defense bill anyway. This would be a welcome first step towards much needed immigration reform.

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    If the defense authorization bill (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 09:11:20 PM EST
    gets the Dream Act and a DADT repeal, the 111th Congress will be going out with a bang. I'm skeptical, but I hope it can happen.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#2)
    by Raskolnikov on Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 09:23:57 PM EST
    It would be a great start.

    Dream Act would be great... (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:15:30 AM EST
    but why are the kids who take a path other than college or military being excluded?

    Is a kid who came to the US as a toddler who wants to be an artist or carpenter or entrepenuer less worthy because they didn't go to college or join the military?  Where's the equality under the law?  I say there should be a path to citizenship for all those who were brought here without papers as minors...they went to American schools, played on American playgrounds, America is the only home they know...they are Americans by any reasonable measure.

    I agree (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 09:29:35 AM EST
    On the other hand, one my husband's classmates from high school just renounced his U.S. citizenship.  He left here with his PhD and owing about 80,000 or something like that in college loans and he went to Ireland :)  All the friends are ticked at him for weaseling out of his obligations like that.  I sort of think it's funny.

    I think that's awesome (none / 0) (#6)
    by jtaylorr on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 09:32:44 AM EST
    But let's just hope he didn't have any co-signers on those loans.

    If he has any SS money due him when he reaches (none / 0) (#7)
    by Harry Saxon on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 09:33:52 AM EST
    retirement age, he'll have it all seized to pay back his student loans, as they can even seize SS disability or any other(American) income for that purpose.

    That's very interesting. (none / 0) (#9)
    by EL seattle on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 10:06:03 AM EST
    As someone used to say, I did not know that.

    Yep, it's a debt that can't be (none / 0) (#10)
    by Harry Saxon on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 11:17:04 AM EST
    discharged in bankruptcy, outside of death or alien abductors coming to ones' rescue, what MT says makes perfect sense as a way to get away from a student loan.

    That is funny... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 09:44:26 AM EST
    not righteous of course, but with the going so shady in this world, it's hard to get worked up when a commoner finds an angle and plays it.

    Like somebody not waiting the decade for permission to come to the US...who wants to be the only arsehole playing by a rigged set of rules.  Not me babe, as I search for a new avenue to dodge tobacco tax extortion:)


    wonder if (none / 0) (#4)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 09:17:51 AM EST
    it will make it any easier that McCain is now making noises about supporting it.

    I'm good with this legislation. (none / 0) (#11)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 02:16:58 PM EST

    two years of military service??? (none / 0) (#12)
    by diogenes on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 04:01:12 PM EST
    Why exactly is the military accepting undocumented aliens into the service?  Is this really true?  Or is this slipped into the bill to somehow make it "patriotism and apple pie" and how can people oppose our soldiers.
    Also, if the military actually does induct undocumented aliens, how about requiring an honorable discharge or eligibility (i.e. reenlisting after a successful term) as a condition of the gift of citizenship?

    Cus they want a steady stream of recuits (none / 0) (#18)
    by MO Blue on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 06:38:06 PM EST
    In fact, the DREAM Act is included in the Department of Defense's FY2010-12 Strategic Plan to help the military "shape and maintain a mission-ready All Volunteer Force"....

    That's because a specific provision of the DREAM Act  would allow those who meet all eligibility requirements, serve in the U.S. armed forces for at least two years and maintain "good moral character" to obtain regular lawful permanent resident status after six years. Many Military experts have come out in support of the DREAM Act because it would significantly increase the pool of qualified recruits in the Latino population, which comprises the majority of undocumented immigrants and which research indicates are more likely to enlist and serve in the military than any other group. DKos

    No "gift" of residency (none / 0) (#20)
    by Yman on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 09:04:57 AM EST
    The DREAM Act would give conditional permanent residency status to them for 6 years, provided they meet the requirements.  If they fulfill the conditions of the program, they could receive PRS (Permanent Resident Status) with the opportunity to apply for citizenship.

    The military's been accepting non-citizens for years, although you must be a legal, permanent resident.  Those who otherwise qualify under the DREAM Act would qualify as conditional permanent residents.  The DREAM Act as proposed does require those that have completed their military service to be honorably discharged.


    No "gift of citizenship", rather (n/t) (none / 0) (#21)
    by Yman on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 09:09:00 AM EST
    Um, this happened a while back (none / 0) (#13)
    by Harry Saxon on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 05:07:16 PM EST

    Non-citizen soldiers

    Why is all of this happening, when the enlistment and expedited naturalization of illegal immigrants serving in the armed forces is specifically authorized in U.S. law? An Executive Order signed by President Bush on July 3, 2002, provided for the "expedited naturalization for aliens and noncitizen nationals serving in an active-duty status in the Armed Forces of the United States during the period of the war against terrorists of global reach." Under this order, any noncitizen in the military can apply for expedited citizenship on his first day of active duty. Not only is this order still in effect, but it has been codified in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2006, that authorizes the enlistment of (1) nationals of the United States; (2) aliens who have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (green card); (3) residents of several former U.S. territories; and (4) any other person "if the Secretary of Defense determines that such enlistment is vital to the national interest."

    With the law so clear on this issue, the treatment of illegal immigrants in the military, both by the Pentagon and by ICE, is difficult to understand. "Apparently," says Lt. Col. Margaret Stock, a nationally known immigration attorney and professor of military law at West Point, "nobody at the Pentagon reviewed the [regulations] on immigrants when the war started." She adds, "If the Pentagon has any immigration attorneys, I haven't met them."

    Stock speculates that if the Pentagon is aware of the law, it might be "afraid there would be a political backlash" if the use of immigrant labor for the war were discussed openly. In a later e-mail, she added, "And by the way, the Pentagon has ALWAYS had the authority to recruit foreigners in wartime. ... The only thing that changed in January 2006 [when Bush signed the NDAA] was that Congress made it HARDER for the Pentagon to recruit foreigners who are not Lawful Permanent Residents. It used to be that ANYONE could join the military in wartime--even undocumented immigrants--but now the Service Secretaries have to find that an undocumented person's enlistment is `in the vital interest' of the United States."

    To illustrate her point, Stock noted that a section of the 2006 Immigration and Nationalization Law locates the naturalization of immigrants serving in Iraq firmly in the tradition of naturalizations "during World War I, World War II, Korean hostilities, Vietnam hostilities, [and] other periods of military hostilities." During these wars, citizenship was granted solely on the basis of three years of honorable service or honorable separation from service (discharge), whether or not the person ever lived in the United States."

    Click Me

    A while back they started recruiting temporary residents as well into the military as well:

    February 15, 2009
    U.S. Military Will Offer Path to Citizenship

    Stretched thin in Afghanistan and Iraq, the American military will begin recruiting skilled immigrants who are living in this country with temporary visas, offering them the chance to become United States citizens in as little as six months.

    Immigrants who are permanent residents, with documents commonly known as green cards, have long been eligible to enlist. But the new effort, for the first time since the Vietnam War, will open the armed forces to temporary immigrants if they have lived in the United States for a minimum of two years, according to military officials familiar with the plan.

    Recruiters expect that the temporary immigrants will have more education, foreign language skills and professional expertise than many Americans who enlist, helping the military to fill shortages in medical care, language interpretation and field intelligence analysis

    Click Me

    Wouldn't you agree that an 'undocumented' but American-acculturated person who served 2 years in the military would be a valuable asset to this country?

    Not the same. Non-citizens have always (none / 0) (#14)
    by BTAL on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 05:27:53 PM EST
    been able to enlist but were then required to either become citizens or get out at the end of their enlistment.  

    Your two cites deal with individuals who legally entered the US.

    Apples and oranges.


    I'm sorry, I thought I indicated with the heading (none / 0) (#15)
    by Harry Saxon on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 05:44:24 PM EST
    of non-soldiers that I was bringing everyone up to speed on the general question of non-citizens joining the military, which is why I included the following:

    To illustrate her point, Stock noted that a section of the 2006 Immigration and Nationalization Law locates the naturalization of immigrants serving in Iraq firmly in the tradition of naturalizations "during World War I, World War II, Korean hostilities, Vietnam hostilities, [and] other periods of military hostilities. "During these wars, citizenship was granted solely on the basis of three years of honorable service or honorable separation from service (discharge), whether or not the person ever lived in the United States."

    The DREAM Act is different in that (none / 0) (#16)
    by BTAL on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 06:16:09 PM EST
    even through no illegal action of their own, the individuals still entered/were brought into the country without following the rules (aka illegal immigration).  That's the apples and oranges issue.

    OTOH (none / 0) (#19)
    by nyjets on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:16:28 PM EST
    THe parents will benfit,the ones who broke the rules,because their children as American citizen will be able to sponser their parents. SO either way, the people who entered this country illegal and have no right to live in this country will benefit from this country.

    Uh, it's not that easy for a child to petition (none / 0) (#22)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 10:12:40 AM EST
    for a parents' legal residency:

    According to Politifact, "Having a child can also help an undocumented parent qualify for relief from deportation, but only 4,000 unauthorized immigrants can receive such status per year, and the alien has to have been in the U.S. for at least 10 years." This is not exactly an anchor. See Politifact's full report on this issue.

    Click Me


    Looks like Reid is doing a Lucy and pulling the (none / 0) (#17)
    by BTAL on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 06:19:58 PM EST
    football from Charlie Brown.  Or is a Wimpy "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today".

    Reid to finish defense bill in lame-duck, drawing GOP rebukes

    By taking up the Defense Appropriation - with the promise of a DREAM Act amendment - in the lame duck session he is either afraid he doesn't have the votes or believes the Hispanics will fall for another Lucy/Wimpy trick.  Give us your vote and trust us.  The WH pulled the same stunt with the Hispanic Caucus for their HCR vote.