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. marcia

    Our government doesn't care one bit about the illegals.
    Somehow all this benefits the government, or all the illegals would
    be kicked out tomorrow!
    Trust me...there are NO bleeding hearts in our govenment!

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

    Are we looking or focusing in other countries? Nay
    Does 3/4 of the country support this "Dream Act" law or bill? Nay
    Should WE the people focus more on the problems WE have on this country? Yay
    Should WE had gone to "WAR" we Iraq or Afghanistan? Nay
    2/3 of ya'll reading this are against this right? Yay

    September 21, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Manny B

    Harry Reid is so desparate for votes that he had to resort to this. Even his committee admitted that they need the Latino vote to win. Harry is not interested in the Latino. Harry is not even interested in the American people Haryy is only looking out for himself and is willing to step on anyone in his way.

    September 21, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dan

    The DREAM Act is NOT fair.

    My parents worked their asses off to come here LEGALLY, so that their children, like me, can grow up American in a righteous, legal way.

    The parents of these children made a conscious choice to come here illegally. You can't just make exceptions to the rule, sorry. Deport them!

    September 21, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Juan

    Talking about military, when you guys (army, marines, navy, etc) come back from Irak (by the way stupid war) supported by millions of LEGAL US citizens, you guys come back all crazy and mentally damage, and I have to pay for your medical bills with my taxes...... Now military guys claims for job but they only thing they know is how to carry a rifle and that's it and majority of them don't even have a college degree.....

    September 21, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • RogerThat

      Has nothing to do with the dream act, respect does who fought for this country(which they should never had but still)

      September 21, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. SEAL wife

    Ummm, why don't we just say what every one isn't? We're talking about "Latino" illegals right? I haven't heard anything about Russian, Vietnamese, Italian, Chinese, Asian, Swedish, etc. illegals. I guess those Latinos are stealing all of those $2.00 p/hour jobs we all aspire to have. Come on people! There's a guy in Michigan now who has been here since he was a little boy, illegally, he's awaiting deportation back to a country he has no memory of. He is engaged, in college, is a law abiding citizen who now has to leave the only country he knows as home because his mother came here many years ago to make a better life for her family! Yes, she should've done it legally, but he is here now. He had no choice in his mother's decision and is now going to be sent back where he has no life! Oh, by the way, he's RUSSIAN!

    September 21, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • idb

      Your thinking is flawed. Those 2 dollar jobs are that low because the employer does not want to pay decent wages. This is undercutting wages and one of the reasons so many people (especially poor) are unemployed. The jobs they can do are taken by illegals. The discussion is not about Latino's, although they try to make it that. It is about illegal aliens in general. Trying to better yourself is nice, but why on someone else's expense? Simply stated, the US cannot take on the burden of the whole world. And, for your information, Russia is not that bad.

      September 21, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Brian

    Once again the government gives a slap in the face to those of us who are bringing our families here legally. Rather than address the immigration laws and the red tape that are cause me and my wife to be separated for years, we continue to reward people who have come here illegally.

    September 21, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DREAMer


    September 21, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Benjamin Lonetree

    So if they are not eligible for student loans then someone please tell me how they will get a loan while making minimum wage? This garbage and just a pandering votes plain and simple.

    September 21, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JC


    RULE OF LAW!!!

    America WAS a country of law and order of immigration.

    Draw the line now. Stop incentivizing more millions of illegals to come here.

    I feel for the kids, but law and order must prevail!!!

    September 21, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. A person with a brain.

    The children brought to this beautiful country of ours by their parents are not at fault. If you let them continue their studies, they will have better jobs and pay more taxes. Plus—many of the kids in America don’t even go to college; let the ones who want to continue to make this country great, finish their higher education.
    And being an immigrant is only illegal because people have xenophobia in America. If you live in the United States of America and you’re worried because someone is going to take your low paying job because you’re dumb, inefficient and lazy—maybe you should migrate out of this country.

    Yes for DREAM act.

    September 21, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • avc

      Thank you ! True kids born here (not all ) just don't give a damn about education yet they're the ones with the open doors. Where is the logic ?

      September 21, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. danny v

    I think the dream act would be great, because we are giving students a chance not criminals.

    September 21, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Char

      their parents are criminals. and by giving them a path to citizenshipo we are awarding their parents by breaking the law.

      September 21, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tim

    Not really sure I approve of this... First off... these people are here ILLEGALLY whether they knowingly came here as children or not. The fact is they are here ILLEGALLY. Do not get me wrong, I am all for gaining citizenship LEGALLY. These people should not be afford the right to become citizens simply because they are here now. It's telling every immigrant that if they can make it over the border, just enlist in the military or go to school and you can become a citizen. (I know there are other stipulations but on its most basic principles that is what it will be seen as). Personally I would love to see a bill where people in this country are allowed to register for citizenship, but they are not guaranteed it (with the basis of it being more strict than if these people were from outside of the US trying to become citizens).

    September 21, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. nhsays

    Too many loop holes in this Dream Act bill. Defeat it! The idea is sound but as usual the liberals have screwed it up.

    September 21, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Char

    Just who i want protecting my country ILLEGALS very bright liberals we have in washington

    September 21, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
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