SUPPORT THE DREAM ACT

July 2, 2012

“He shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. So show your love for the alien, for you were all aliens in the land of Egypt.”Deuteronomy 10:18-19

ACTION ALERT

SUPPORT THE DREAM ACT (S.952/H.R.1842) WITH A PATH TO CITIZENSHIP
Contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives NOW!

BACKGROUND

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has long supported the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach (CCAO) supports the efforts of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Justice for Immigrants, in a call to action to pass the DREAM Act. The CCAO promotes the social justice priorities of the Missionary Society of St. Columban an order of priests and lay missionaries around the world working with the poor, the marginalized, and the vulnerable, including migrants. As people of faith we are both challenged and called to raise our voices.
With bipartisan backing for over a decade, the DREAM Act would provide a path to citizenship and access to in-state tuition for qualified undocumented youth who were brought to the United States -some as infants- by their parents. There have been previous attempts to pass the DREAM Act, with the most recent in December 2010. In that effort, the House passed the measure, 216-198, but the Senate failed to attain the 60 votes needed to end a filibuster on the bill, thus ending its prospects for passage in the 111th Congress. The final vote count in the Senate was 55 in favor of cloture, 41 against, five short of the needed number to close debate on the bill.
The current Senate version of the DREAM Act, S.952, also allows young people who have grown up and graduated from high school in the United States the opportunity to gain legal status and eventually earn their citizenship through higher education or military service. Likewise, the House version bill, H.R.1842, contains these provisions.
On June 15, 2012, President Obama issued an executive order that granted deferred action on a case-by-case basis to youth who entered the United States by age 15 and have not committed certain offenses. This important action will provide protection from removal and work authorization for a vulnerable group of immigrants who deserve to remain in our country and contribute their talents to our communities.
However, the action by the President today is no substitute for enactment of the DREAM Act in Congress. We encourage our elected officials of both parties to take this opportunity to work together to enact this important law, which would give these youth a path to citizenship and a chance to become Americans. We also renew our call for bipartisan efforts to enact comprehensive and humane reform our nation’s broken immigration system

CTION REQUESTED

Help us show our elected officials that Catholics, including the Columbans, are in favor of the DREAM Act. Contact your lawmakers in Washington, DC and urge them to work toward the enactment of the DREAM Act.
Making a call is easy and it only takes a few minutes! When the office receptionist answers the phone, follow the basic call script below. The receptionists’ job is to make sure messages from constituents are relayed to their boss, so make sure you give him/her your name and address so your call can be officially logged into their database.

To find congressional contact information, you can:

o Call the Capitol switchboard at (202-224-3121) and ask for your representative/senator
o If you aren’t sure who your members of Congress are, go to the following:
 For House
• http://house.gov/htbin/findrep?ZIP
 For Senate
• http://www.senate.gov/
o (search options in upper-left corner)

Here are some tips to keep in mind when making the call:
• Feel free to share why this issue is important to you.
• Say thank you! Receptionists often have many duties, but saying thanks is a great way to let them know that the delivery of your message is important to you!

SAMPLE SCRIPT

I am calling to urge Representative ____________ to support H.R.1842, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The bill will provide a path to citizenship and access to in-state tuition for qualified undocumented youth who were brought to the United States -some as infants- by their parents.

I am calling to urge Senator ____________ to support S. 952 regarding the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The bill will provide a path to citizenship and access to in-state tuition for qualified undocumented youth who were brought to the United States -some as infants- by their parents.

CONTACT INFORMATION

The Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
1320 Fenwick Lane Suite 209, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Amy Woolam Echeverria
Telephone: (301) 565-4549
ccaoprograms@columban.org or www.columban.org