US & World

Immigration activists step up pressure on Congress to pass DREAM Act

Would-be military recruits stage drills in Dream Act protest.
Would-be military recruits stage drills in Dream Act protest.
Kitty Felde/KPCC

Listen to story

Download this story 0.0MB

Immigration activists are pressuring Congress to vote this week on the DREAM Act. The measure would create a path to citizenship for college students and those in the military. Today, nearly two dozen undocumented young people tried to enlist at a D.C. military recruiting station.

The military recruiters turned the would-be soldiers away. But outside the office, the activists ran through a few drills to demonstrate their desire to serve in the military. The students chanted, "We’re feeling motivated, dedicated, downright educated!"

Cal State San Bernardino senior Ivan Rosales wants to be a cancer researcher someday. Before that, he said, he’d like to be an Army doctor. "My brother and my brothe-in-law are both in the military," he said. "I’ve grown up watching them go off to Iraq and come back and see how much they’ve grown as men."

Unlike his brother and brother-in-law, Rosales was born in Mexico. His parents brought him to the United States when he was still in diapers. He’s in D.C. this week, taking time between biology exams, to pressure Congress to vote on the DREAM Act.

In California, a caravan of students and other immigration activists is traveling the state, holding rallies near local congressional district offices to push for the DREAM Act.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised a vote on the measure during this lame duck session.