Momentum for DREAM Act intensifies as vote nears
Today, dozens of actions involving thousands of people are planned in support of the DREAM Act, highlighting the intense energy and popular support for this piece of legislation. As we reported earlier, Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that he would attach the DREAM Act as an amendment to a defense authorization bill. Tomorrow, Senators will vote on the measure.
The events taking place today include:
- In Los Angeles, the National Korean American Services and Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of LA (CHIRLA) are teaming up with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other civic leaders in a press conference to urge the Senate to pass the DREAM.
- In Chicago, undocumented students will try to enlist in the armed forces at the Air Force Recruiting Office at Federal Plaza, before marching to the Republican State Offices where they will stay overnight in vigil and ask Republican Rep. Mark Kirk and the Republican Party to support the DREAM Act. The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is helping organize the action.
- In Phoenix, Michael Nazario, an undocumented student who wants to join the military, will be joined at the Arizona State Capitol lawn by other undocumented students who want to serve and veterans on the 5th day of his mock boot camp. Their action is directed at Sen. John McCain, a previous supporter of the DREAM.
- In Orlando, the Florida Immigrant Coalition and others will stage a flash mob scene in front of Sen. Lemieux's office this afternoon and ask passers-by to call his office to urge him to vote in favor of the bill. In Miami, undocumented students at Miami Dade College held a rally attended by Rep. Kendrick Meek.
- In Maine, the Maine People's Alliance is directing calls to Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, who were among the 12 Republicans who voted for the DREAM Act in 2007, asking them to again stand on the right side of history.
- In Denver, the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, partner groups and elected officials will hold a press conference and rally to show that Colorado is fully behind the DREAM and will work hard to provide relief and respect to thousands of Colorado kids needing a chance. Sen. Bennet's office will be represented by his state director.
- Nationally, the Reform Immigration FOR America (RI4A) campaign is delivering thousands of calls to senators' offices by reaching out to supporters through email and text messages.
The RI4A campaign has already turned out as many calls as they did in all of 2007. That on top of turnout across the country in support of the DREAM Act show that the immigration reform movement is vibrant and organized. And Congress better take note.
A quote from RI4A's campaign manager:
"All over the country, the immigration reform movement is mobilizing to make DREAM a reality. The juxtaposition of the amazing energy and actions happening in cities all over the country with the partisan gridlock in D.C. is truly stunning. We won't take no for an answer. This is common sense legislation that will overwhelmingly benefit our military, our economy and the American workforce. The groundswell of support and calls generated is testament to the growing power of our movement and the fervor behind this bill. It is time to pass the DREAM Act."