One of Sen. Reid's Top Priorities: DREAM Act

According to exit polls on election night, Nevada's senior senator Harry Reid won re-election with the help of several key groups. One of of them: Hispanics.

Those polls show 68 percent of Hispanics who voted in the mid-term here in Nevada voted for Harry Reid. That may be one reason why Senator Reid's top priority during this lame duck session is "The Dream Act"

It stands for Development, Relief, and Education of Alien Minors Act.

“These kids were brought to this country, without them knowing they were coming to a new country-- that they needed documents to be here. It’s not their fault,” says Mario Dela Rosa a community organizer with PLAN.

The Dream Act, introduced back in March of 2009, would in essence fast track United States Citizenship to children who entered this country before the age of 16.

Those same children must have stayed in the U.S.A for five consecutive years before the Act goes into effect.

They must have graduated from a U-S high school, or acquired a GED and been accepted into a college or university.

The applicants will then apply for the Dream Act, and receive Conditional Permanent Residency, at which point they will have to enroll in a college or university to pursue a degree or enlist in the military.

They must complete two years there, within 6 years the person can apply for Legal Permanent Residency and eventually United State Citizenship.

Its estimated about eight-hundred thousand Hispanic teens and young adults could take advantage of the Dream Act.

Those against the program say it would just encourage more undocumented residence to sneak across the border.

But those in favor of the bill say with the age specifications; that is 15 years of age, and living here five years before then, children sneaking across the border now illegally could not qualify.

What is for certain, at least as far as Dela Rosa is concerned, these next couple weeks it's do or die.

“I think this is the last chance we have,” says Dela Rosa.

But Dela Rosa predicts whatever happens, the block of Hispanic voters will *not* forget by 2012 the next election cycle.


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