Washington, D.C. (December 8, 2010) – In a press release issued today, the ICNA Council for Social Justice (ICSJ) expressed its support for the DREAM Act, a bill that will provide high school graduates brought to the U.S. before they were 16 the ability to earn legal citizenship.

Over 1.5 million undocumented high school graduates currently reside in the United States; the majority were brought here as children, and are unable to seek employment or pursue higher education because of their legal status. While they have lived in the U.S. for most of their lives, there is no procedure that allows for them to build a future in the nation they recognize as their own. Many are eventually deported—not only removing upstanding would-be citizens from our midst, but also costing the government nearly 25 billion dollars in the process.
Under the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, high school graduates who are of good moral character, were brought to the United States before they were 16, and have served two years in the military or completed two years in college will be given the opportunity to apply for permanent residency in the United States. The DREAM Act will provide these students with the opportunity to pursue their goals, create a more educated workforce, and allow immigrants to better contribute to society. We encourage Congress to pass this bill, as it will not only promote the economy but will also be a major step towards correcting the immigration problem in the United States.

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