Community Rallies on Eve of DREAM Act Vote
Detroit– Immigrant students and their supporters rallied outside Western International High School on Tuesday afternoon, calling on Congress to vote for passage of the DREAM Act tomorrow.
The Development, Relief, and Education of Alien Minors (DREAM) Act would allow undocumented youth of good moral character who entered the country before the age of 16 to earn their citizenship by serving in the military or attending college.
Ivan Nikolov, an undocumented student currently fighting his deportation, addressed the crowd, “We’ve graduated from American schools, we contribute to our communities, and we love America. We’re Americans in every way, except for a piece of paper—our Green Cards. Congress should vote YES for the DREAM Act tomorrow so immigrant youth can stand up, and become the next generation of leaders our country needs.” Nikolov became undocumented after a paperwork error caused his family to miss a court date when he was 12 years old. His US citizen fiance’, now wife, Alanna Woolley, led a successful campaign for Ivan’s release, and the pair are continuing their work to support immigrant youth.
The students were joined by Southwest Detroit Business Association Director Kathy Wendler, “The DREAM Act isn’t just the right thing to do for our youth, it’s the smart thing to do for our economy. If Congress passes the DREAM Act, we will see $1.4 – $3.6 billion in economic growth, and $1.4 billion in deficit reduction. Southwest Detroit businesses support DREAM because it will mean more jobs and a better economy here in Michigan.”
The rally was held as part of a national day of action for the DREAM Act. Dozens of events were held across the country.
After months of organizing by students and their supporters, Speaker Pelosi has announced her intention to hold a vote on DREAM during this month’s “Lame Duck” session of Congress. The legislation has also been introduced in the Senate, where a vote is expected to follow action in the House.
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