Blumenthal, Murkowski File Bipartisan ‘Little DREAMers’ Amendment
Ed Walz (Former Staff)Children of Immigrants
Washington – The First Focus Campaign for Children today applauded U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for filing a bipartisan amendment to strengthen the DREAM Act provisions of the Senate “Gang of 8” comprehensive immigration reform bill. The senators’ “Little DREAMers” amendment would eliminate obstacles that deny younger children a five-year path to citizenship, which is available through the underlying bill to older children and young adults.
“Little kids have the biggest dreams, and the Blumenthal-Murkowski amendment would bring those dreams much closer to reality,” said Campaign for Children President Bruce Lesley.
The base bill (S. 744) provides a five-year path to citizenship for youth who entered the U.S. prior to age 16, graduated from high school or earned a GED, and earned a college diploma, attended two years of college, or spent four years in the military. The legislation’s educational requirements effectively deny children access to the DREAM path to citizenship, if they are too young to graduate from high school. Instead, those children must follow the path to citizenship established by the bill for adults, which could mean a delay of up to thirteen years.
The amendment enjoys widespread support. The First Focus Campaign for Children coordinated endorsements of the Little DREAMers Amendment by more than 180 child advocacy, faith-based, education, labor, and immigrant rights groups.
“Thirteen years is a lifetime for a child,” said Lesley. “The Senate should adopt this common-sense amendment.”
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The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are the priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit www.ffcampaignforchildren.org.