Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Week of Action on DREAM Act

The US Bishops' Justice for Immigrants campaign is calling for a Catholic Week of Action for the DREAM Act.
If enacted, the DREAM Act would create a pathway through which undocumented immigrant students could obtain conditional permanent residency and, ultimately, American citizenship. Under the legislation, certain students would be eligible for conditional permanent residency if they meet certain criteria, including: entering the United States before age 16; living in the U.S. for at least five continuous years immediately before the bill becomes effective; graduating from high school or gaining admission into an institute of higher education; having "good moral character" and not committed certain crimes; and being younger than 35 when the bill becomes effective. Students must also demonstrate that they have not been under a final order for deportation. After a six year period of conditional permanent residency, these individuals could apply for citizenship if they had continued to demonstrate "good moral character," continued to live in the U.S. , and completed at least two years of higher education or served at least two years in the military.
The DREAM Act has always had strong bipartisan support, and the U.S. Catholic bishops have been long standing supporters of the legislation.
The DREAM Act would make a difference in the lives of undocumented youth who were brought to the United States by their parents and now, because of their lack of legal status, face obstacles to their future. By removing such barriers, the DREAM Act permits immigrant students to pursue a promising future through college education or military service. Those benefitting from the DREAM Act are talented, intelligent and dedicated young people who know only the U.S. as their home.
More information about the DREAM Act may be found here.
To promote Congressional action on the DREAM Act, the U.S. Catholic bishops will be sending letters to Capitol Hill expressing their support of the legislation. We urge you to act in accordance with the Bishops by participating in a Catholic Week of Action for the DREAM Act and send an alert to your Senators and Representative and ask them to co-sponsor or publicly support the DREAM Act.