photo 1 picnik Young people rally for DREAM Act

Photo by Lisa Fielding/WBBM

CHICAGO (WBBM) — Dozens of undocumented students from Chicago let their voices be heard as they held signs in support of the dream act. 

photo e1285028519919 Young people rally for DREAM Act

Photo by Lisa Fielding/WBBM

“What we want? The Dream Act. When do we want it? Now.”

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act or the DREAM Act would allow thousands of young people who attend college or join the military to become legal U.S citizens.

David Morales says he has no future without it. “Under this current situation, it’s difficult for me to attend college or universities because I can’t qualify for financial aid because I don’t have a social security number.”

21-year old Ernesto was born in Mexico City and came to the United States with his parents when he was 10. He says he’s tried to enlist in the military 14 times and has been turned away each time.  “I was born in Mexico, but this is my country. I have lived in this country, I’ve studied in this country and I’ve worked in this country. It’s my country just as much as any citizen.”

Supporters like Alderman George Cardenas say the legislation would improve the economy, bolster the national defense and create a positive momentum towards comprehensive immigration reform. “I think it’s time for American to recognize that these young people mean well, they want to contribute.”

But some Republicans oppose the bill. Conservatives say the DREAM Act encourages people to break the law yet some military leaders support it because of the recruitment potential.

The group is holding an overnight vigil in front of Republican Headquarters on Randolph. They say they plan on staying there until the bill comes up for a vote in the Senate. The bill is up for a vote Tuesday as part of the a Department of Defense Authorization Bill.

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