On Friday, President Barack Obama announced a change in immigration rules. The changes apply to those under 30 who have lived in the United States since they were children. There are rules, such as they cannot have criminal records. But this begins to ease the way for those whose only known home is the United States, many of whom have gone on to higher education and are working and being productive members of society. Many of the young “illegals” are Hispanic, and their parents brought them here when they were so young that this is the only home they’ve ever known.
Senator Daniel K. Akaka praised President Obama’s move, but also said more is needed. He urged his colleagues to pass the DREAM Act, touted as a way to solve the problem of long-term yet illegal residents of the county Akaka’s prepared statement:
“”I am proud of President Obama for taking strong action on this important domestic policy issue which has been blocked from action in Congress for too long. The United States is a nation with a long history of immigrants contributing to the growth of our great nation. Young people who entered this country as children through no fault of their own, contribute to their communities, and view America as the only home they’ve ever known, should not have to fear deportation at every turn.
“However, this is not a long term solution – we need to do more. We need to continue the conversation on comprehensive immigration reform, beginning with a vote on the DREAM Act. I cosponsored this common-sense bill, which offers a sensible step towards immigration reform, makes our nation stronger, and treats upstanding young people with dignity. It encourages military service, provides an incentive for higher education, and helps young people contribute. I urge my colleagues to make this Administration’s decision permanent by enacting the DREAM Act this year.”