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Dream Act Vote

Dream Act Vote - The DREAM Act is on the move this week, and as members of Congress file back into Capitol Hill after the Thanksgiving break, D.C. is bracing for an onslaught of lobbying and behind-the-scenes work to get the bill passed before the year is over and the House changes hands in January.

According to the DREAM Act’s most visible congressional allies, advocates have reason to be cautiously optimistic about the bill’s prospects in the House. “The core group of House members who support immigration reform and the DREAM Act have been reaching out throughout the Democratic House caucus,” Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez told ColorLines. “From what we are hearing back, I am encouraged by the breadth of Democratic support.”

Gutierrez, who has long pushed for more comprehensive immigration reform solutions, has emerged as the DREAM Act’s most visible House advocate since joining advocates who called for a piecemeal approach in the face of comprehensive immigration reform’s sour prospects this year.

Congressional insiders indicated that a version of the DREAM Act could come up for a vote in the House, where it has more reliable support than in the Senate, as early as Wednesday or Thursday. House Democrats are currently conducting counts to determine the bill’s exact numbers—it needs 218 to pass the House—but insiders say that the numbers look good so far.

Still, Gutierrez said that the next few days will be hectic on the Hill.

“We have a lot of work remaining to convince fence-sitters, but I am encouraged and optimistic about House passage if leadership calls a vote.”

The DREAM Act would allow undocumented youth with a clean criminal record who were brought to the country before the age of 16 the right to apply for permanent residency if they commit two years to the military or higher education. The Migration Policy Institute estimated that the bill would benefit about 825,000 undocumented youth who’ve been raised and educated in the country but are ineligible to work because of their immigration status.

Dream Act Vote

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