Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said this week that he wants to add the Dream Act as an amendment to the upcoming defense policy bill.
The act applies to young people who came to the country when they were under 16 years of age and have been in the country five years. These students would have a chance to apply for citizenship if they complete two years of college or military service.
It’s a tough time for any kind of immigration reform. According to recent polls, most residents seem to be in favor of sending everyone home.
The Dream Act however has some bipartisan support. There is more sympathy for the kids who supporters say shouldn't be punished for the errors of their parents.
Opponents have come out in force against the Dream Act. They argue passing it will only add more incentives to illegal immigrants to come here and create unfair competition with U.S. citizens and residents for college seats.
"The Dream Act would provide amnesty for millions of illegal aliens under the age of 30 who claim they entered the US when they were young and claim they intend to go to college," said William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC.
Even supporters of comprehensive immigration reform are a bit nervous. They fear that if the law passes, they may have lost one of their strongest trump cards for passing a more in-depth comprehensive policy that they feel is needed to fix the broken immigration system.
President Obama told the Congressional Hispanic Caucus gala that he would do whatever it takes to support the act’s passage.
"Now, the Senate is going to have a chance to do the right thing over the next few weeks when Senator Reid brings the DREAM Act to the floor. Keep in mind, in the past, this was a bill that was supported by a majority of Democrats and Republicans. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t receive that same kind of bipartisan support today. I’ve been a supporter since I was in the Senate, and I will do whatever it takes to support the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ efforts to pass this bill so that I can sign it into law on behalf of students seeking a college education and those who wish to serve in our country’s uniform. It’s the right thing to do. We should get it done. "