77th Annual Meeting

RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT THE DREAM ACT

WHEREAS, the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (hereinafter referred to as the DREAM Act) was first introduced in the Senate in 2001, subsequently amended through the years but failed eight votes short of reaching cloture on October 24, 2007; and

WHEREAS, the DREAM Act was reintroduced in the 111th Congress on March 26, 2009, and if passed will permit high school graduates who immigrated to the United States before the age of 16 and lived in the country for at least five years prior to the passage of the legislation and are under the age of 35 at the time of enactment, to gain conditional residency; and

WHEREAS, this conditional residency would be contingent upon requiring eligible students to be of "good moral character" and completing either two years of post-secondary education or military service; and

WHEREAS, the DREAM Act is intended for individuals who were brought to the United States as children and who shall not be punished for the alleged transgressions of their parents, deserving to be judged according to their own character and merit regardless of their country of birth or immigrant status; and

WHEREAS, immigrant students lacking legal U.S. residency have no other means of legalizing their status and, therefore, should now be given the chance to obtain legal status and pursue a pathway to citizenship in their adopted homeland; and

WHEREAS, there are no gains in denying these students the opportunity to pursue higher education or military service, and build a brighter future and share in the American dream; and

WHEREAS, federal passage of the DREAM Act would make evident what we already know is true; that the United States of America needs young, educated and hard-working individuals who can integrate into the workforce and contribute to this country's economic development to help the United States compete in the global economy,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages its members to support the passage of the DREAM Act, which will allow thousands of young students to realize their educational dreams, and encourage their respective congressional delegates to pass the Act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors recommends that the United States Congress pass bipartisan legislation to provide eligible students with educational possibilities and a road to legalization; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors agrees to take up this matter at the 2009 June Conference of Mayors in the Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island.