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Latino Daily News

Thursday April 7, 2011

Durbin to Reintroduce DREAM Act. Some Advocates Unhappy With New Version

Durbin to Reintroduce DREAM Act. Some Advocates Unhappy With New Version

Photo: DREAM Act, some advocates unhappy with new version

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Last week, Senator Dick Durbin’s office confirmed that he would once again push for the passage of the DREAM Act this session, after it came so close to passing in Congress last session.

The DREAM Act would give undocumented young people a path to citizenship, but the version of the bill Durbin is expected to introduce has some worried, as it narrows down those that would be eligible.

Mohammad Abdollahi co-founder of DreamActivism.org said, “We know the DREAM Act is going to be coming out soon, and that it’s most likely going to be similar to the version that passed the House last time.”

Abdollahi is referring to the version that successfully made it through the House last December, but failed to do the same in the Senate due to a Republican filibuster. He and other immigration advocates say that Durbin has been hesitant to file a more broad version of the bill in an attempt to gain support of his colleague Sen. Richard Lugar, a Republican from Indiana.

This more narrow version is causing discourse among advocates, as some see the dilemma moderate Republicans – whose votes will be needed – have, and are happy to see the bill reintroduced in any version, while others are less than optimistic about the fact that even if passed, the bill will help only a narrow margin of undocumented youth, leaving many still without a path to citizenship.

“If Democrats are not going to advocate for a stronger bill and just give in to Republican demands, then we have to recognize that Democrats are not going to have the backbone they need to have,” Abdollahi said.

“As immigrant youth this is our message. We’re willing to put ourselves on the line. Just like in July, we’re not going to hold back against Democrats, because ultimately the DREAM Act lost votes on the Democratic side too.”