How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

From readers, thoughts on the Dream Act

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

A poster on the wall of the UCLA Downtown Labor Center by McArthur Park, where about two dozen student activists are calling legislators and awaiting a vote on the bill, December 8, 2010

The upcoming Dream Act vote has generated by far the most reader comments in Multi-American's young history. Some readers have argued back and forth with one another on the proposed legislation. Others have simply posted their thoughts, in some cases hinting at their own personal stories. Here are a few comments, unedited.

Among the most impassioned is one that came in today at 3:21 a.m. from Stefanieromero17, who posted this:

All we want is an opportunity to become someone in this world. You have to also realize that many young Americans waist their life’s at a young age. They start doing drugs, young girls get pregnant and many other things. All we are asking for is Americas help. we aren’t saying that you or America owe us something. We do not take your jobs. We do the jobs that many many Americans refuse to do. I’m pretty sure you or most Americans will not work the fields and all we are asking for is to do better than our parents. Me like many other immigrants came here at a young age. To us this is our country we would do anything to get the opportunity to go to college and become someone. If it ever comes to it we would give our life’s to this country in a heart beat. Well this is all i have to say.

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Waiting for a Dream Act vote

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Students at a makeshift call center downtown watch C-SPAN as they make final calls to legislators urging support for the Dream Act, December 8, 2010

Students are gathered at the UCLA Downtown Labor Center this morning to make last-minute calls to legislators and await a vote on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would grant conditional legal status to qualifying undocumented youths who attend college or join the military.

House and Senate votes are expected today; a Senate vote, which had been expected this morning, has been moved up to mid-afternoon Eastern time.

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In the news this morning: Dream Act coming up for a vote, AZ-style law proposed for CA, more

DREAM Act, Immigration Reform Bill to Get House, Senate Votes - ABC News Both the House and the Senate are expected to vote today on the measure, which would provide a conditional path to legal status for undocumented youths who attend college or enlist in the military.


Odds slim for passage of Dream Act in Senate - 89.3 KPCC The legislation faces an uphill climb, especially in the Senate, where it currently lacks the GOP support to win enough votes for passage.


Arizona-style immigration measure, gift limit among new legislative session's bills - Los Angeles Times A former Minuteman turned new state Assembly member has introduced a measure similar to Arizona's SB 1070.


Supreme Court to hear Arizona case about illegal workers - USA Today Today the high court will hear a federal challenge to an Arizona law that revokes the licenses of companies that hire undocumented workers.

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A candlelit rally in L.A. as Dream Act vote nears

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Participants in a vigil and rally for the Dream Act in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday night, December 7, 2010

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Participants in a vigil and rally for the Dream Act in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday night, December 7, 2010

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Participants in a vigil and rally for the Dream Act in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday night, December 7, 2010

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Participants in a vigil and rally for the Dream Act in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday night, December 7, 2010

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Participants in a vigil and rally for the Dream Act in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday night, December 7, 2010


With a vote on the Dream Act expected as early as tomorrow, enthusiasm mixed with jangled nerves tonight at a candlelight rally held by supporters in downtown Los Angeles.

Close to two hundred people showed up outside La Placita Church near Olvera Street, some wearing caps and gowns, many holding votives and picket signs. Clergy leaders that included Cardinal Roger Mahony, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles, led participants in prayer.

"We are walking with you, and we will be with you until this is accomplished," Mahony told the crowd.

It may take a while. A vote on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would grant conditional legal status to undocumented youths who attend college or join the military, could take place in both the Senate and the House as early as tomorrow. However, chances appears slim for the proposed legislation. This is particularly true in the Senate, where it has failed to win the necessary Republican support to pass, even after a tightened version of the bill was introduced last week.

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DREAM Act dollars: A roundup of reports

Robert Huffstutter/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Different estimates have been floated around in recent weeks as to what the DREAM Act represents in dollars and cents: How much money it may cost, and how much money it may generate.

Late last week, the Congressional Budget Office scored the most recent version of the bill, which would allow qualifying undocumented youths who arrived here under age 16 to obtain conditional legal status - and eventually permanent legal status - if they attend college or enlist in the military.

The CBO report concluded that over the next 10 years, as the DREAM Act increases the number of authorized workers in the country, revenues would increase by $2.3 billion and the national deficit would decrease by $1.4 billion. However, as conditional legal status gives way to permanent legal status for beneficiaries, they would qualify like other legal residents and U.S. citizens for government programs, including federal health insurance exchanges, adding to the deficit in the long run.

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