Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) released the following statement following the House of Representatives' approval of the DREAM Act by a vote of 216 to 198:
"The DREAM Act provides young people who were brought to the United States as children an opportunity to earn a path to citizenship. They grew up as Americans and had no say in the decision to come to this country. To be eligible to begin the 13-year process, they must pass a strict set of requirements, including background checks, demonstrating a strong proficiency in English, and enrolling in the military or attending college. Let me be clear, this is not amnesty for illegal immigrants, and it does not replace or lessen our country's fundamental need for comprehensive immigration reform. It is also not an incentive for others to come to this country illegally, as it only applies to those who have lived in the country for five years prior to the bill taking effect.
"The DREAM Act is a bipartisan, common-sense approach strongly supported by our military leaders, the business community, and our educational institutions. I urge the Senate to follow our leadership in the House and pass the DREAM Act immediately."