Sen. Durbin Chairs First-ever Senate Hearing on DREAM Act

Eddie Garcia, CampusProgress | June 29, 2011

Yesterday’s first-ever Senate hearing on the DREAM Act was nothing short of historic. Three hundred immigrant youth from all across the country ascended on Capitol Hill to watch Senator Durbin (D-Ill) solicit unprecedented testimonies from administration officials explaining why the DREAM Act is critical for America’s prosperity, national security, and workforce. Secretaries Janet Napolitano and Arne Duncan, Under Secretary Clifford Stanley, Lt. Colonel Margaret Stock, and DREAMer Ola Kaso each outlined the compelling reasons why we need to provide young immigrants a route to earned citizenship.

The hearing also provided an opportunity for members of congress to raise their concerns about the bill, but to draw attention to the ways the Obama administration is dealing with cases that involve DREAM Act-eligible youth. Sec. Napolitano stated that her agency is still working on streamlining a more transparent deferred action process, and reiterated that DHS is not interested in prosecuting immigrant youth: “We simply don’t see appropriations necessary to remove everybody who is technically removable from the United States, we have set priorities,” she said.  (Read more)