NY Daily News: Now's time for DREAM Act to become reality
By Albor Ruiz
The DREAM Act refuses to die. Like Lazarus, the battered bill has risen again from the grave of comprehensive immigration reform.
And with it the spirits and hopes of thousands of young people whose future depends on the legislation's approval by Congress.
"This is a critical moment," said Osman Canales, 21, a Salvadoran-born student.
The DREAM Act would address the tragedy of an estimated 1.5 million undocumented young people brought to the U.S. by their parents as small children. The bill would grant them a path to citizenship as long as they attend college or join the Army. These young people grew up here and, except for not having papers, are as American as any other kid their age.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), whose seat was saved by Latino voters, announced last Wednesday he would introduce the DREAM Act as a stand-alone bill during the lame duck session of Congress.
It is good news, no doubt.
But for Reid's promise to be more than words President Obama - who met last Tuesday with Sen. Bob Menéndez (D-N.J.), Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-Brooklyn/Manhattan) and Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) - has to roll up his sleeves and work, really work, for its passing.
"He told me he will do it," Gutiérrez said on Spanish-language TV after the meeting with the President.
Possibly, but we have heard that before. Yet, Gutiérrez remains optimistic.