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Idea of the Day: Federal Government Needs to Pass the DREAM Act

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The DREAM Act—a bill to grant legal status to undocumented immigrants brought here as children who complete some college or military service—narrowly went down in defeat in 2010. It passed the House of Representatives but failed by a few votes in the Senate. While federal solutions have been unobtainable so far, many states have pursued their own initiatives on behalf of undocumented students.

State-level DREAM Acts, which grant in-state tuition to undocumented residents, have succeeded in 13 states over the past 10 years. In our column, "Keeping the DREAM Alive," we review what these states have accomplished as the Senate holds the first-ever hearing on the DREAM Act today led by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) with testimony by leading administration officials including Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Clifford L. Stanley.

States are working to make the American Dream possible for undocumented students but they can only do so much. It is time for the federal government to do its part and pass the DREAM Act to provide these students with a legal path to citizenship.

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To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Beatriz Lopez (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.741.6255 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Rafael Medina
202.478.5313 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or


This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

For more from the same column, click here