CaribWorldNews, WASHINGTON, D.C., Thurs. Dec. 9, 2010: The passage of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minor (DREAM) Act in the U.S. Congress yesterday has been welcomed by Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.
Clarke yesterday called the passage of the measure, that would allow children of undocumented immigrants to be put on a path to citizenship, `a great victory for the 11th Congressional District of New York and the rest of this nation.`
The DREAM Act was passed along mostly partisan lines, 216 to 198, with 38 Democrats voting against the bill and 8 Republicans supporting it. It now faces a vote in the Senate.
`Despite the naysayers and change in political climate, the passage of this legislation marks a significant step forward in enacting true Comprehensive Immigration Reform,` said Clarke. `I look forward to the president signing this legislation into law. Let us never forget that when we turn our back on those who come to these shores to become Americans to help build our great nation and to embrace the American Dream, we are turning our backs on ourselves.`
She insisted that the DREAM Act provides a solution for immigrant students, whose lives are jeopardized by the US` broken immigration system.
`I have witnessed firsthand the detrimental effects that the immigration limbo has on these students, families and the community. This legislation allows us, as a nation to maintain America`s humanity in addressing the issue of children who were brought to this country as illegal immigrants and who are now students,` added the congresswoman, a daughter of Jamaican migrants.
Democrats framed the legislation as a civil-rights issue but Republicans denounced it as a `nightmare` amnesty plan that would encourage illegal immigration. To be eligible, beneficiaries must have come to the U.S. before the age of 16; be under the age of 30; lived in the country for five years; pass a criminal background test; and have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) postponed a procedural vote in the upper chamber for this morning.The bill must now pass the Senate before it can be signed in to law by the President. The White House had this week urged passage of the bill before the end of this congress.n Wednesday that the tax agreement the White House struck with Republicans was essentially final, forcing the divided caucus to decide whether to press its fight for changes in the package.