Durbin, Foster meet with Aurora "Dreamers"
Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin Congressman Bill Foster met with current and former students at Aurora University who have benefitted from the Obama Administration's recent immigration directive. The program, which is modeled after Durbin's DREAM Act, allows young immigrants brought to the United States as children a chance to apply for a two-year renewable work permit and exemption from deportation.
From a news release:
"President Obama's decision to grant deferred action to Dreamers was a historic moment for human rights in our country," Durbin said. "The United States is the only home these talented people have ever known, and now they have a chance to live and work here temporarily without fear. This is what I had in mind when I first authored the DREAM Act twelve years ago, and it was a pleasure to meet some of the talented young people who have taken advantage of the program. Now Congress needs to pass comprehensive immigration reform to fix our broken immigration system and give these young people and their families a chance to earn their citizenship."
"People often ask me why I would want to return to Congress with all the fighting, frustrations and partisan gridlock, and I tell them it's because of the opportunity to vote on important legislation like the DREAM Act," Foster said. "We shouldn't be pushing away talented young students from the only home they have ever known, we should give them a chance to succeed and become successful, productive members of our communities. President Obama's deferred action for Dreamers was in important first step, but it's time we pass comprehensive immigration reform that provides law enforcement officials with the tools they need to secure our borders, a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the country, and a more secure and efficient system for legal immigration."
As of mid-March, more than 23,000 young people in Illinois had applied for the program and nearly 18,000 applicants had already been approved, Durbin's office said. Nationally, more than 453,000 people have applied and more than 245,000 applications have been approved.