Thursday, December 2, 2010

Debate over DREAM Act heats up as immigration-related bill awaits vote

By Jim Barnett, CNN
December 2, 2010 6:22 p.m. EST
  • The act would make immigrants eligible for citizenship if they go to college or join the military
  • Texas Republican says the bill could grant amnesty to 2 million
  • "The bill is also a magnet for fraud," he says
Washington (CNN) -- The future of the DREAM Act has become something of a nightmare for Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill.

Congressional leaders and the Obama administration are fighting it out, and each is making the case for why the legislation should be passed or rejected during the lame-duck session of Congress. The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act would grant eligibility for citizenship for thousands of young illegal immigrants if they go to college or serve in the military.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Thursday, "I urge the Congress to pass the DREAM Act and set aside old labels."

Speaking to reporters via a White House conference call, Napolitano said, "There are compelling reasons to support it. ... It will strengthen the military and strengthen the economy."

Napolitano urged Congress to act "and come together on a bipartisan basis and in the grand tradition of this country." She said the DREAM Act would help people who were "brought here by others ... not of their own volition ... but were brought here by parents or smuggled into the country by human traffickers." more

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