The Leadership Conference is working diligently to see that Tom Perez is confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Perez is an eminently qualified public servant and consensus builder who has dedicated his career to ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to succeed. He has served with integrity and distinction at the local, state and national level, compiling an outstanding record of achievement.
Civil Rights Groups Applaud Reintroduction of DREAM Act to Senate
May 13, 2011 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
Civil rights and immigration advocates applaud the reintroduction of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act in the Senate. The bill would provide a pathway to citizenship for immigrants whose parents brought them to the United States when they were young.
Reintroduction of the legislation comes on the heels of President Barack Obama's immigration speech on Tuesday, reaffirming his commitment to immigration reform, including the passage of the DREAM Act.
“As President Obama said yesterday, immigrants have helped make this country stronger and more prosperous,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “And Senator Durbin’s continued leadership on the DREAM Act is a healthy signal that America will not back away from immigration reform that honors the dignity of working people, exemplifies core American values, and ensures the security and prosperity of our nation.”
The DREAM Act would allow undocumented youth who were brought to the United States before they were 15 to obtain "conditional nonimmigrant status," provided that they complete high school or get their GED, then either serve in the military, or enroll in college, for two years. Additionally, conditional nonimmigrants must be “of good moral character,” not have committed certain crimes, and pay back taxes. After 10 years of conditional status, they are eligible to apply for legal permanent resident status.
The reintroduction of the DREAM Act comes just six months after it gained a majority in the Senate, but was defeated by a filibuster. At a Campus Progress event, Durbin assured his supporters that he would not give up fighting for the bill.
The Leadership Conference and other civil rights organizations strongly support the passage of the DREAM Act, not only as a rational path to citizenship, but also as necessary to the continued success of the United States.
“Our country needs and will benefit immensely from these young people and their talents and their drive to succeed,” said Clarissa Martínez De Castro, director of immigration and national campaigns at the National Council of La Raza. “From a moral, economic, and policy perspective, America cannot afford to lose another generation of young people who stand to contribute to its economic and social prosperity.”