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National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health Applauds the Re-Introduction of the DREAM Act

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The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) applauds Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Representatives Howard Berman (D-CA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and the many congressional cosponsors for re-introducing the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minor, commonly known as the DREAM Act.

We also thank President Obama for reaffirming his support of the DREAM Act in El Paso Tuesday where he remarked that to punish children who grew up in this country is cruel. "We're a better nation than that," President Obama said.

As the President acknowledged in his speech, there is a real human toll to the broken immigration system. That is true especially for immigrant Latinas who are likely to be the primary bread earners in their families. Equality for immigrant women can only be attained when immigrant women can live free from discrimination, oppression and violence in all their forms. We believe it is imperative that organizations advocating for comprehensive immigration reform also support fair and just immigration policies that protect the rights of immigrant women.

Educational attainment is one way that Latinas can have access to information, resources and services that will help them make informed and autonomous decisions. NLIRH extends its support to the DREAM Act and the young immigrant activists and legislators who have worked to bring this bill to the forefront.  

In short, the DREAM Act would allow undocumented youth who have grown up in the United States to step out of the shadows, pursue education and accomplish their goals.

The DREAM Act has a tough road to passage even though it has a wide band of support from the business community, the labor community, military leaders, teachers, principles, state and local government officials, and community leaders. Because of this difficult outlook we join with advocates throughout the country that are asking the Administration to be willing to defer removal of any DREAM eligible student caught up in the current immigration system.

Passage of the DREAM Act would be a tremendous accomplishment for the millions of Latinas that we represent.  That’s why as we fight for the equality, dignity and human rights of immigrant women NLIRH will also continue to work with the Administration and lawmakers to strengthen and support this bill.

For more information about NLIRH’s work to advance the rights of immigrant women or our leadership on the National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights, please visit the NCIWR website.