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. jamest

    Let me get this straight:

    Your parents brought you into this country illegally;

    you received a "free" public education at my expense, along with "free" healthcare, maybe Section 8 housing subsidies and various forms of welfare; and now you want me to pay for you to have a college education, give you citizenship, and, once you get it, use it to make your family members, who are also here illegally, legal?

    Does that about sum it up?

    Dream Act? More like "Dream On" Act!

    You say it's not your fault you're here? Guess what? It's not my fault, either. I never wanted you here; never invited you here; never encouraged you to come here. You got a problem with the way you arrived, take it up with mom and dad.

    You say you've got a dream? I've got a dream, too. It's a dream of keeping the money I work so hard to earn, instead of having to continue to foot the bill for you and the millions of your countrymen who have come here in violation of our laws.

    You say you're willing to work hard, study hard, and get a good job? So was I. And then more and more of my earnings have been stolen from me, by my government, which won't even enforce our laws, to benefit you and everyone else who came here illegally.

    You say you can't get a job here without a college education? News bulletin: you're not supposed to be here in the first place. News bulletin, part two: millions of Americans can't get jobs, either.

    So don't go away mad, just go away. Go back to Mexico, or Guatemala or wherever, and see what kind of free education you get there. And the seat that you vacate at the local colleges will either mean one more American gets a good education, or we can cut back on the taxes the rest of us are shouldering to provide public services to people who don't belong here.

    Taxpayers' dreams count, too. Illegal immigration is a nightmare. It's time to wake up and elect people who will enforce our immigration laws, not repeat them.

    September 21, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Benjamin Lonetree

      BRAVO and WELL SAID!

      September 21, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • ilse

      To this: "I never wanted you here; never invited you here; never encouraged you to come here"

      This was not your land originally unless your roots have absolutely no connection to the outside world. What is a "Real" American anyway if Every white person I know has Italian, Irish, German or Polish roots.

      Did Native Americans want Europeans to immigrate here? Probably not.

      You should probably show more respect to modern immigrants who are doing lower-ranked jobs that require cleaning, working the field, or driving a bus. If they don't, will you do them instead?

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

    The Dream Act is good for our country. It requires young illegal immigrants to earn their citizenship through military service, and to seek higher education to become a more productive citizen..........eneral Colin Powell supports it, and so do I.

    September 21, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Phil

    There should be a program like the peace corp where these students would work in the country they came from to improve
    conditions in that country so that some day there might not be as much need to immigrate.

    September 21, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. David

    You are ancestors were immigrants...they waited in line, entered the country legally. We do have laws in this country...and my family obeyed those laws.

    September 21, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Juan

    All, I can say is that US is going directly to hell with all this racist people. Many of you say that we tax payers will pay their education. I have a friend who is white, who went to college, who got in debt and he's out of work while his loans are being deferred and some in default. Why woudl I pay for his education? Is that fair? Why don't you guys understand is that the entire country is broken(immigration, heath care, social security, financial) and sad but true, US voters are still electing the same individuals who brought us to this point.

    September 21, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |

    The Dream Act is good for our country. It requires young illegal immigrants to earn their citizenship through military service, and to seek higher education to become a more productive citizen..........General Colin Powell supports it, and so do I.

    September 21, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Julia

    More and more it seems to me that the only way to get a break in the U.S. is to be either a rich celebrity, an illegal immigrant, or a minority. Everyone else, just live with the fact that it's your fault that any of the above broke the law, didn't get ahead, or had a bad life–oh, and hand over your wallet so we can pay for their perks.

    September 21, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dick Hertz

    We shouldn't have to pay for illegals. I served in the Military twice. What type of carrot are they going to dangle in front of my nose? I mean I'm a Veteran too. Why should an illegal get more bennefits than me? If they can strip a Veteran of bennefits then they can strip offspring of their undeserved citizenship. Send all the leeches packing.

    September 21, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • JC

      This is what I mean by the corrupt and favoritist activist lawmakers.

      September 21, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. FoolKiller

    “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.” And except for the somewhere in excess of 307,006,550 of us that were here first, that wouldn't be a problem...

    September 21, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Question

    Does any other country in the world provide something similar? This bill is not only for illegal immigrants from Hispanics origins. The bill can undermine the U.S. national security as it open doors for an illegal action to become legal. I am an immigrant who traveled across the globe, and I have never seen or heard of such political plunder. Sorry, most countries don't offer such a chance. One must wonder if Mexico or Russia allows illegal immigrants to obtain a college education, serve in the military or get their citizenship. As an immigrant, I worked hard and earned my citizenship and currently pursuing my college education. There is a system that is working.

    September 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • jjheinis

      The French used entry in the French Foreign Legion as a way to gain citizenship. This is a traditional route to citizenship. There would have been little objection had this been introduced during the Reagan years.

      September 21, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. David

    Why should someone who is here ILLEGALLY get in state tuition when our own kids can't?


    September 21, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Benjamin

      They dont get aid..they have to take out LOANS that have INTEREST..

      September 21, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Julia

    I heard yesterday on the radio that the reason why all of our manufacturing jobs moved overseas was because our population was too education and didn't want to do those jobs that were "beneath" them. So now that all the illegals are going to go to college, who will do the jobs they leave behind? Who will be the next wave of illegals picking in the fields and doing landscaping?

    September 21, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • idb

      That is nonsense, jobs moved overseas because it was cheaper to produce them there and ship them back. On top of that the factories overseas did not have to comply with US safety demands. This is a global development and has nothing to do with schooling. On the contrary, factories need unskilled labor. However, they are not willing to pay decent wages. That is why illegal aliens are so popular.

      September 21, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Asian

    There is a limit/quota on the number of applicants from a specific country in LEGAL IMMIGRATION.

    The wait for Indians/Chinese is 10-25 years currently in employment based and their kids don't qualify for DREAM Act since they are LEGAL.

    Looks like in USA, illegals can get Green Cards faster and easier than the legals. What a shame.

    September 21, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JC

    The federal minimum wage had to be raised a few years ago to deal with the sudden and disasterous drop in wages for the low skilled domestically born American worker. The naturally born U.S. citizen low-skill worker now has no choices if they are to get work but to compete with illegal immigrants willing to take substandard wages. Even after the wage increase low skilled wages haven't improved very much.

    Fix the immigration system first by nailing the selfish and anti-American employers to the wall if they hire illegal immigrants. Then, let the illegals go back home to fix their papers and then let them wait behind all the other legitimately waiting immigrants go in first. Then, give the anchor-babies some form of provisional visa with probationary status just so that we can monitor them. Kick those that are criminals out permanently.

    NO DUAL CITIZENSHIP SHOULD BE ALLOWED! You either embrace the American flag, or keep your green card, work your time, and go back home. As Teddy Roosevelt articulated that any American with dual citizenship is no American at all.

    Stop creating incentives for peoples from other countries to risk life and limb to come over in mass waves and hords. Let things be orderly without

    September 21, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Phil

    American military personnel work and live all over the world. Businesses such as oil companies have americans
    working in foreign countries. I know americans who worked in Germany and liked living there.
    Being in a foreign country does not seem like as big a deal as they try to make it out to be.
    There are Americans and Canadians who retire and live in Mexico.

    September 21, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
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