Senate holds hearing on Dream Act: hundreds of students arrive to Washington DC
Hundreds of undocumented students from across the U.S. have come to Washington, DC, to lobby personally for the Dream Act bill, as the Senate held a public hearing today, led by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL).
From left, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Clifford Stanley, testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2011, before the Senate subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security hearing on the DREAM Act. Photo AP.
Photo by Carlos A. Quiroz
More than 200 students from different states have arrived to DC this past weekend to lobby in favor of the Dream Act bill, which would give them access to U.S. citizenship, after they were brought here as children without proper immigration documents. Most of the studenst are volunteers and young leaders in their communities.
This morning I attended briefly the Senate hearing at the Hart Senate building, scheduled from 10 AM to 12 noon. Among the attendees was Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, who spoke in a tone that made think she is assuming the Dream Act will be a reality eventually. This is also the perception of most of the attendees I spoke to, however, no one knows when exactly this bill will be even put for vote.
If the Dream Act bill is passed it will benefit approximately 2 million undocumented young Americans, and it will boost the chances for Barack Obama to get reelected. It will assure him a big chunk of the Latino vote, without any doubt. It’s estimated that at least 53% of Latinos know someone who is undocumented, so this bill definitely matter to most of us.
The Dreamers are very well organized, they packed the room at the Senate hearing today, we had to wait outside in line for awhile, because there wasn’t room for more people. There was a lot of media this morning at the Senate hearing, I saw journalists from Telesur, Bloomberg News, Unisivion and a couple of bloggers besides me.
This is the program of actions the Dreamers are taking today and tomorrow:
Tuesday June 28th
10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon > Senate Hearing.
12:00 noon – 2:00 PM > Lunch.
2:00 PM – 5:00 PM > Lobbying at senators offices.
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM > Dinner & DREAMer Awards ceremony at St. Stephen’s Church at 1525 Newton Street NW, Washington, DC 20010. See map.
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM > Social time
Wednesday June 29th
7:00 AM to 9:00 AM > Breakfast at Lutheran Church of Reformation – basement at 212 East Capitol St NW, Washington DC, 20003. See map.
10:00 AM – 12:00 noon > Symbolic ceremony of college graduation. Undocumented journalist and Pulitzer-prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas will speak. Russell Senate Building – Kennedy Caucus Room.
12:30 PM – 2:30 PM > Direct action.
Coordinator – Alejandra Ruiz email@example.com
Logistics – Edward Sanchez firstname.lastname@example.org
Online lead – Rosa Alvarez email@example.com
Follow in Twitter @UnitedWeDream #UWD #DreamAct #DreamHearing #Inmyyouth #Dreamers
More photos:Vodpod videos no longer available.
All photos by Carlos A. Quiroz
Today was a good day, these young activists will be the future leaders of this country, they are organizing themselves and fighting for their human rights.
Any country that wants to stay leading the world in a competitive way, would embrace the Dreamers as a priority for their future political leadership. This country can’t afford to lose these bright young minds. The Dream Act is a necessity which will benefit everyone involved.
Please contact your senator today and ask them to vote for the Dream Act > senate.gov