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US Senate opens hearing on DREAM immigration act

- Jose Katigbak () - June 29, 2011 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its first ever hearing on a bill which offers a way for overstaying aliens who came to the US as minors to become permanent residents under certain conditions.

The hearing on Tuesday follows last week’s revelation by Filipino journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who won the Pulitzer Prize while working for the Washington Post, that he is an illegal immigrant.

Vargas has become somewhat of a poster boy of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US who want to come out of the shadows and become productive residents.

He has been invited to the hearing starting Tuesday but it is not known if he will attend.

Among those called to appear are Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Undersecretary of Defense Clifford Stanley.

President Barack Obama is pressing for a reform of immigration laws so “they can address our economic and security needs while honoring our history as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.”

But because of opposition to a broad reform, supporters are trying to do it piecemeal.

A bill filed before Congress is the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act which offers a way for overstaying aliens who sign up for college or military service to become permanent residents, so-called ‘Green Card’ holders.

To be eligible they must have been brought to the United States before the age of 16, lived in the country for at least five years and graduated from high school.

ALIEN MINORS EDUCATION SECRETARY ARNE DUNCAN AND UNDERSECRETARY OF DEFENSE CLIFFORD STANLEY GREEN CARD HOMELAND SECRETARY JANET NAPOLITANO JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA PULITZER PRIZE RELIEF AND EDUCATION SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE UNITED STATES WASHINGTON POST
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