New Organizing Project blogger
In recent months, thousands of young undocumented students decided to come out from the shadows of society and mobilize together to push for the DREAM Act. Despite the risk, many students held sit-ins and hunger strikes in front of congressional offices, organized rallies and events and made phone calls to urge President Obama and Congress to pass the DREAM Act this year.
Shortly after the November elections, President Obama and Democratic leaders in both chambers publicly came out and promised to bring up the DREAM Act for a vote during the lame-duck session. With promise and hope under its wings, the immigrant rights movement has gained momentum and continued to push for the DREAM Act. We are closer than ever before, but if we don’t pass the bill this year, Congress may not introduce the bill for a very long time. Despite this sense of urgency, some members of Congress still want to block the bill and diminish our dreams once more.
A couple days ago, the Senate Minority Leader, John Boehner, announced that the Republicans will filibuster any legislation bills until the tax cuts and unemployment problems are resolved. As time is running out, the Democratic Party is hoping to compromise with the tax cuts and move onto other critical legislation, such as the DREAM Act. Not surprisingly, a compromise has not yet gone through.
Nonetheless, the DREAM Act will come up to the vote this week, though it is uncertain about whether Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid secured the 60 votes to pass the DREAM Act in the Senate. In the current political situation, we do not have 60 votes yet.
It seems like we’re on a tough road, but we cannot give up. As a matter of fact, there’s still a chance to pass the DREAM Act this year. Recently, the Congress drafted a new DREAM Act bill, which would possibly attract moderate Democrats as well as moderate Republicans. In addition, thousands of young undocumented students are risking their lives and taking actions throughout the states, receiving mainstream media attention and getting support from the general public. Moreover, President Obama and prominent leaders from nation-wide push for the DREAM Act to pass this year. Given this very short period of time, we have to keep calling President and the Congress, especially targeted moderate Democrats as well as moderate Republicans. If the media and the public pressure those targeted politicians, we may have chance to convince them to vote “yes” on the DREAM Act.
I believe that we can make it happen. So let’s keep pushing, let’s keep our dreams alive.