Momentum continues to build toward immigration reform

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by Félix Pérez

On the heels of Wednesday’s immigration rally and foreshadowing next week’s expected introduction of a bill in the U.S. Senate, results from a national Gallup poll released today indicate that momentum continues to build for commonsense immigration reform for DREAMer students, their families and 11 million aspiring Americans.

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The Gallup poll revealed that 65 percent of Americans said they would vote for a law that would “allow illegal immigrants living in the United States the chance to become U.S. citizens if they met certain requirements.”

Support for citizenship crosses political party lines. The poll showed that 57 percent of Republicans and Republican “leaners” and 73 percent of Democrats and Democratic “leaners” are supportive of a path that ends in citizenship.

The growing sense of momentum is a welcome sign for educators like Angie Sullivan, who believes no student should live in fear she or he will be forcibly separated from their families.

Sullivan, a Las Vegas elementary school teacher, said:

DREAMers are a part of America. Dreamers are my students. I dream with them for social justice and progress toward a comprehensive immigration reform that creates a path for our students to remain in their country and continue contributing to the diversity that is our American community.”

Sullivan recounted the story of Astrid Silva, a DREAMer who asked Sullivan and another teacher to help locate her former third-grade teacher, now retired. Silva, a college graduate who came to the United States when she was 4, wanted to make amends with her teacher all those years later for not being truthful about her citizenship status. “She was scared to tell her favorite teacher that she was undocumented and did not think college was possible for her. This had always haunted Astrid. She wanted to make it right,” said Sullivan.

Sullivan located Astrid’s teacher. “And Astrid was so relieved and excited to be able to tell her favorite teacher that she was [then] enrolled in college. We all cried happy tears.”

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