Colin Powell Urges Path to Citizenship for Undocumented
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell urged Congress to pass immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for the undocumented today. He said undocumented workers have made repairs on his house and they are an essential part of our labor force.
"They're all over my house, doing things whenever I call for repairs, and I'm sure you've seen them at your house. We've got to find a way to bring these people out of the darkness and give them some kind of status."
From the summary:
Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2009 or the DREAM Act of 2009 - Amends the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to repeal the denial of an unlawful alien's eligibility for higher education benefits based on state residence unless a U.S. national is similarly eligible without regard to such state residence.
Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to cancel the removal of, and adjust to conditional permanent resident status, an alien who: (1) entered the United States before his or her 16th birthday and has been present in the United States for at least five years immediately preceding enactment of this Act; (2) is a person of good moral character; (3) is not inadmissible or deportable under specified grounds of the Immigration and Nationality Act; (4) at the time of application, has been admitted to an institution of higher education or has earned a high school or equivalent diploma; (5) from the age of 16 and older, has never been under a final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal; and (6) was under age 35 on the date of this Act's enactment.
Sets forth the conditions for conditional permanent resident status, including: (1) termination of status for violation of this Act; and (2) removal of conditional status to permanent status.
Authorizes an alien who has satisfied the appropriate requirements prior to enactment of this Act to petition the Secretary for conditional permanent resident status.
Provides for: (1) exclusive jurisdiction; (2) penalties for false application statements; (3) confidentiality; (4) fee prohibitions; (5) higher education assistance; and (6) a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report respecting the number of aliens adjusted under this Act.
We need far more than the DREAM Act, but it's a good beginning. The Senate should vote and pass it this week when it considers the defense authorization bill.
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