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An uncertain, volatile DREAM

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

There is nothing certain about the future of the DREAM Act.

The only thing we know right now is that there is a high possibility it could be voted on next week, before the lame duck Congress adjourns and gives way to a Republican-led House and larger conservative presence in the Senate.

Amidst a volatile environment, we approach the second time in less than six months that the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act catches the attention of Washington. Back in September it was attached to the National Defense Authorization Act as an amendment along with the repeal of the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell."

A Republican-led blockade impeded the bill from even reaching the floor for a vote. Later, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) announced that he would bring back the DREAM Act as a standalone bill.

Supporters of the bill have increased pressure not only on Reid, but also on many other legislators in an attempt to get the votes the act needs to bring it to a vote, and pass.

Under different circumstances in the past two weeks, two student government presidents—one in Fresno, Calif., and the other one in Miami—revealed they were undocumented.

Public demonstrations have escalated and in Texas, youth from across the state are rallying and holding vigils in support of the 13 San Antonio students who started a hunger strike more than two weeks ago.

To counter all this, the propaganda machine against the bill has already started launching its attacks led by Fox News and their newly acquired pundit Lou Dobbs. In what was titled as an assault on the DREAM Act, Media Matters lists how many times the network “has attacked and pushed falsehoods about the bill”.

The legislators will go back to business next week with the task of finding a solution for thousands of undocumented students who graduate each year from high schools across the country.

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