ABC News, September 14, 2010
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced today that he will offer the controversial DREAM Act as an amendment to a major defense bill expected to receive a Senate vote next week.
“This amendment will ensure that millions of children who grow up as Americans will be able to get the education they need to contribute to our economy,” Reid in a statement.
The DREAM Act, which has some bipartisan support, would allow young illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. before age 16, and have been here for at least five years, to earn legal status if they pass background checks, attend college or serve in the military for at least two years.
Republican Sen. Richard Lugar has been a sponsor of the DREAM Act, but many Republicans see the bill as an “amnesty” and are wary of touching it in a hotly contested election year. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell today called Reid’s move “needlessly controversial.”
But the White House has indicated, as recently as yesterday, that it would support DREAM legislation.