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. chiu, orlando, FL

    Yahaira Carrillo quit ROTC because she can’t handle the requirement. She can go join the Marine now and after serving her time she’ll be eligible for citizenship. Like many other Marines before her who enlisted and served their time to become an American citizen; you got to pay with your hard labor first.

    September 21, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jim Schiely

    No one ever heard of the Dream Act until Harry Reid found out he is losing his seat!!! So let me guess, everyone arguing for the Dream Act say let the kids stay, it's not their fault they are here. So do you support sending their parents back without them??? Of course not, you will say that is cruel. This is your way of sneeking in a 14 million illegals blanket amnesty. Who are you kidding. You want votes because your "Dream" President has been a total disaster. THAT IS WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT, SNEEKING IN BLANKET AMNESTY!!! Why not approach it honestly for once or is that outdside of the realm for a Democrat?????

    September 21, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |


    September 21, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. SEAL wife

    One more for Juan! I will tell my husband as well as the families of the SEALs that perished in the recent chopper crash in AFG you said thank you for defending your right to speak out against them!!

    September 21, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. GMan

    Be mad at your parents not the legal citizens of the USA.Or I could take the selfish way out.. Come one and all, by the time this adminstration is done we could use the extra cash.. oh that would be providing you or your folks bothered to pay taxes.. Oh whats that. Exactly... Because this adminstration as spent us into bankruptcy our kids will be paying 50 cents per dollar just to keep all the free loaders they have now on the system. This country got to be the great country not because of our low lifes made it a great place. Look you all go back to where ever the heck your from. Stand in line and do it legally thats all we ask. Sorry if there is no more room in the inn either.Or here is a thought. You learned how the system works.. no how about returning home and turn that toliet bowl into a great place to live.

    September 21, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Benjamin

    I truely feel bad for Republicans because they are stepping on the toes of people that are producing more and more babies which are the future generation. I was just on Facebook and over half the kids on there hate Republicans for todays action. I'm in New York and the amount of Hispanic here seems to have double in a couple of years..maybe i'm crazy but i really dont think this generation will forget this day and most likely tell their friends/kids etc.. about the Republicans..

    September 21, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nick

    I have never in my life read so many hate filled comments. How many of you fools actually have taken the time to get to know an illegal immigrant. These people went through absolute hell to get here and are willing to work harder than you to stay here. You may have an occasional immigrant here to screw the system over, but you have millions of native-born Americans doing the exact same thing

    September 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Benjamin

      I know what you mean....I've read alot of their stories and their lives are truely Hell. I pray that something great does happen for the Dreamers one day soon..

      September 21, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken LeBert

      So, Nick. Say someone breaks into your house and you catch him stealing stuff you worked years to acquire. Are you gonna " get to know " him? Maybe compliment him on how HARD he was working to clean you out?
      Get a grip, buddy. How Americans act in THEIR OWN COUNTRY is the busuness of Americans only.

      September 21, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Michael0713

    Do it the legal way like most of us who had to wait more than 10 years and have no criminal record of any kind, not even a parking ticket. No amnesty of anykind for illegals.

    September 21, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lee Oates

    Once again America is trying to do something decent and right, and the Republicans are trying to destroy it. One thing about it is that they are consistent.

    September 21, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael0713

      You mean socialists like you are destroying America's true values.

      September 21, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ronnie

    It really saddens me that we have someone in our government proposing this crap. This is a slap in the face to every citizen of America that was born here and to every immigrant that wants to come here legally. I'm so sick of our government offering free stuff to these illegals on the taxpayers dime. DREAM ON is what this should be called.

    September 21, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. scorpio05

    I hear so much about illegal immigration and amnesty? But sadly i never hear any opinion the broken system for legal immigration! What about the legal immigration of highly skilled Masters and PHD students who came here, studied at prestigious universities and are forced to leave, because there is no political will to change this rotten system for immigration?
    I guess America doesn't need the talented people now? they need only the labor class illegals? or is it that the legal immigrant base is not the 12 million huge potential voter base that could impact politicians! I see the Us politics going the third world country way! that's not the America I had heard about and had dreamed to make my career at. God bless America

    September 21, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ramon F. Herrera

    Hate won – for now.

    I hope those kids (and Hispanic kids in general) don't grow up to be vengeful and have retaliation in mind, for the future is theirs.

    September 21, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cury

    For those that say "poor them, they aren't in fault because their parents brought them when they were little".. well, these children do reach the age of "18", and they have the chance to go back to their country.... They chose to stay!!! Now, if they want to be a "soldier", for them to join their country’s military.

    September 21, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. concerned_immigrant

    immigration does not equal defense! stupid politicians running after votes with NO concern for this country or it future.

    people who break the laws of the country are welcomed with open arms and given free food, shelter and education at the cost of citizens and legal immigrants.


    September 21, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jjheinis

    Ditto heads, Fox watchers. Let me see. You want all illegal aliens and their descendants to go to their nation of origin regardless of whether they have served in the US military. Do you realize that it is nearly impossible to legally enter the United States if you are from northern Latin America unless you have money to become a treaty investor. Look at your family tree. From whence do your ancestors come. Did they enter the country legally. If they are American Indians, they were born here and can trace their ancestry back many generations. If they are not American Indians, it is highly unlikely that they were native born and almost certainly immigrated during the times when passports were rare and immigration was free. Put yourself in the other persons shoes for once. Of course, it ie easier to listen to Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh. They have ancestors from Germany. I am certain that your ancestors did not land at Plymouth Rock nor came to Jamestown. Let he who has no sin among you cast the first stone. The Armed Services need servicemen and women. Is this not an even trade?

    September 21, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
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