December 17th, 2010 5:33 pm | by BETH SLOVIC News | Posted In: CLEAN UP

Senate to Consider DREAM Act and DADT on Saturday

Saturday won't be a leisurely day on Capitol Hill.

After years of false starts and dead ends, the DREAM Act comes up for a vote again Saturday, Dec. 18 in the U.S. Senate, where advocates think the immigration bill finally stands a chance of passage. Also known as the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, the bill (first crafted in 2001) would give undocumented young people who graduate high school in the United States a path to citizenship. Opponents attack the bill as amnesty for lawbreakers.

Also up for a vote in the Senate this weekend is a repeal of the Clinton-era "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on military service for openly gay men and women.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) will have surgery Monday for early-stage prostate cancer. However, Wyden's office says he plans to be on the floor Saturday to vote for the DREAM Act and to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) will cast similar votes on both bills.

In 2006, WW wrote about the DREAM Act and one high school senior then at Franklin High School. Now a senior in college, the student would be one of an estimated 40,000 undocumented young people in Oregon who would benefit from the passage of the DREAM Act, which already has House approval. Nationwide, an estimated 800,000 undocumented immigrants would get a path to citizenship, if the DREAM Act became law.
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