29 June 2011

Spotlight on US immigration as Senate holds first DREAM Act hearing

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Many White House officials are pushing for US immigration reform as the DREAM Act receives its first United States Senate hearing.

US government

US immigration reform is being pushed for as the DREAM Act receives its first Senate hearing.

The DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act would be a huge step for supporters of US immigration reform as it would make it possible for people brought illegally into the United States as children to apply for American citizenship after spending several years in the country and completing two years of either college or military service.

While earlier attempts to pass the DREAM Act have failed, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Security Secretary Janet Napolitano are pushing again for it to be passed. They are placing an emphasis on the economic benefits of the Act, citing a Congressional Budget office report that states the Act would generate an extra $1.4 billion in government revenue.

Speaking on the individuals who the DREAM Act would apply to, Duncan said:"They have deep roots here and are loyal to our country because in any event, this is the only home they have ever known."

Tackling the issue of national security, Napolitano stated: "These people do not pose a risk to public safety. They do not pose a risk to national security."

However, the Act still faces its critics, with Republican Senator John Coryn arguing that it is a Band-Aid fix for the larger issues surrounding the US Visa and immigration system, who also complained that the issue was being "wielded as a political weapon".

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