Lawmakers Provide Workshop For DREAM-Eligible Youth

By aaroncynic in News on Aug 9, 2012 7:00PM

This weekend the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) will host a workshop for undocumented youth eligible for relief under the DREAM Act, which could provide work permits for up to 75,000 undocumented youth. At a press conference on Tuesday, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Chicago) urged DREAM-eligible youth to attend the daylong workshop at Chicago’s Navy Pier on Saturday. Durbin told a group of people at The Resurrection Project in Pilsen, “These are young people, who got up every day in their classroom, put their hands over their heart, and pledged allegiance to the only flag they’ve ever known.”

The act does not provide a path to citizenship, reports WBEZ, but provides a pathway for undocumented immigrants to stay and work in the U.S. starting Aug. 15. Among other qualifications, they must be under 30, residents of the U.S. before age 16, and have no criminal record.

Gutierrez and Durbin were joined at the press conference by two undocumented youths who would benefit from Saturday’s conference. Joselin, a DREAM-eligible student told the audience, “It was my dream to live the full college experience. To live in the dorms and interact with all my peers and become very involved. But because I was undocumented, I wasn’t eligible for federal and financial aid.”

Gutierrez said, “It’s going to be a wonderful day. This is the most significant step we’ve taken towards immigration reform and toward justice for our immigrant community.”