The Hispanic National Bar Association Urges Passage of DREAM Act

September 15, 2010

Washington, D.C.- The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) commends Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s leadership for his announcement to attach the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act to the Department of Defense Reauthorization legislation. The Dream Act, which could be scheduled for a vote as early as next week after passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, would allow many undocumented students who entered the country under the age of 16 and who have lived in the United States for at least five years to obtain citizenship if they join the military or attend college for at least two years.

“The HNBA believes that passage of this DREAM Act is a win-win proposition, and a step in the right direction towards the overall goal of comprehensive reform of our immigration law,” said Diana S. Sen, HNBA National President. She noted, “Without immediate action, thousands stand to be barred from advanced education – education inextricably intertwined with the realization of the American Dream. Passage of the DREAM Act will help expand the economic and social wealth that these young people confer to the entire nation. We strongly urge the Senators in the U.S. Congress to support the upcoming DOD reauthorization legislation, and passage of the DREAM Act provisions.”

According to a July 2010 report from the National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, if passed, the Act would immediately make 726,000 undocumented youths eligible for conditional legal status. Specifically, with regard to states, California has the largest number of potential beneficiaries, with 553,000 or 26 percent, while the next state, Texas, has nearly half that amount with roughly 258,000 or 12 percent of possible beneficiaries. Florida, New York, and Arizona are the states of residence for another 21 percent of potential beneficiaries.