Its death has been announced many times, but the DREAM Act is still struggling mightily for its life. "We are hoping there will be a vote in the Senate in the next few days, and we are asking everybody to call their senators to urge them to vote for the DREAM Act," said Sonia Güinansaca, 21, a junior at Hunter College. "Right now we are four votes short."
Even though Güinansaca has lived in Harlem since she was 5 years old, the Ecuadoran-born activist has no papers. Passage of the bill would give Güinansaca and more than 1.5 million other undocumented students a way to remain in the country legally. But they face an uphill battle on Capitol Hill.
The DREAM Act passed the House last week, but the Senate, where a GOP filibuster will require at least 60 votes to approve it, is a different story.
Both New York senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, have reaffirmed their support for the bill. "If there is a vote, she will definitely support it," a Gillibrand spokesman told us Tuesday. The junior senator said, "Every student in New York and across this country deserves the opportunity to achieve his or her full potential," and noted "current law unfairly punishes thousands of young people who received all their education in the United States and know only the United States as home."
Schumer said he has been a longtime supporter of the DREAM Act and has worked hard to include it as part of a comprehensive immigration reform package. "Unfortunately, my Republican colleagues have refused to act on a comprehensive plan to fix our broken immigration system. As a co-sponsor of the bill, I will vote for the DREAM Act when it reaches the Senate floor," he said....