September 21st, 2010
11:44 AM ET

Student's 'DREAM,' last hope rests on Senate vote

Yahaira Carrillo and other students take part in news conference promoting the Dream Act.

When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would be introducing the DREAM Act and a “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal as amendments to the defense authorization bill it sent shockwaves through political and immigration circles. Before those two additions can be voted on, the Senate must agree to close debate on the larger defense bill - something that may not happen.

GOP senators, in addition to frustrations with the possible “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal, also dislike Reid's plan to add the DREAM act, an immigration-related provision to the defense bill.

The DREAM Act would create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children. Under the bill, an individual would have to be of “good moral character” and either receive a college degree or complete at least two years of U.S. military service. Yahaira Carrillo is a college student who, while in high school, participated in Jr. ROTC, while dreaming of becoming a United States Marine.

“I wanted to be in uniform,” she told CNN, but she quit ROTC when a Captain-classmate warned that her undocumented status would bar her from joining the Marines.

The 25-year-old college senior is currently in deportation proceedings, but if the Dream Act became law she could earn U.S. citizenship.

“This is where I want to be.” Carrillo told CNN’s Dick Uliano. “I want to be here. I don’t want to be anywhere else.”

Listen to Carillo's story here:

Or you can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports' podcast on iTunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

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Filed under: Harry Reid • Immigration • Politics
soundoff (456 Responses)
  1. IsNot

    I don't see where age 35 is anywhere in the bill. It was a random age tossed out and the Baggers ran away with the idea.

    September 22, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gary

    I was once an illegal immigrant, my mother had no choice but to move here with my brother and I after our father died. My brother and I excelled in school and sports both becoming Division I prospects in football and track and being top 10% in our class. Yet we had to take the biggest risk of all: we went back to Mexico and applied for student visas, our future was put in jeopardy, but we were tired of living in fear of being illegal. To this day I thank the Lord that we were accepted and now live legally in this great country, but the experience was not one we want other deserving students to pass through. I say yes to the idea of the Dream Act but I am more than aware that some changes need to be made. As I see it now the Dream Act is just a hidden Amnesty, to prevent it from being such some simple changes could be made such as decrease the age from 35 to 25, require the termination of a Bachelor's degree at a four year university, not allow any people who have commited past felonies to apply and cancel any tempoary residence if one is commited, decrease the starting age from 15 to 10, and to apply and keep the status one must adhere to certain academic parameters so as to only allow those students that can truly prove of use and benefit to this country become a part of this society. This act should not have such lame requirements, if people want to become a part of this amazing nation then they must prove they can be of benefit. And wish me luck as my student visa expires soon and I am traveling back to Mexico to apply for my permanent residence so I can continue my American Dream which was made possible because me and my brother worked our butts off in the weight room, the field, the classroom, we proved we deserve to be here and so should anyone who wishes to join this Blessed country.

    October 6, 2010 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  3. edla

    These illegal students NEED TO GO, they went far into the system, they falsified information such as citizenship to get in, they are well aware of it, these are criminals. They took legitimate people's spots.

    Also before they leave, whether willingfully or deporation, they, and-or their parents, must be forced to pay all education costs (about 10K per year per kid) back to taxpayers, millions and millions of dollars

    December 1, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Neutral&Peaceful

      what about the kids that didnt even know how to walk? did they know they were taking someones "spot"...right.. read my name before any other comments.

      December 8, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Neutral&Peaceful

    I hope they pass the dream act. those kids need a little hope in their lives. I'm not SELFISH.

    December 8, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
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