Meanwhile, Graham steps up with Dream Act

graham dreamers

Even as I was saying that with his particular friend John McCain out of action, the country really needed Lindsey Graham to step up… he was doing so.

Today, he and Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin announced they were introducing the Dream Act. Here’s a release about it:


WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) today introduced the Dream Act, which would allow immigrant students who grew up in the United States to earn lawful permanent residence and eventually American citizenship.  These young people, known as Dreamers, have lived in America since they were children, built their lives here, and are American in every way except for their immigration status.  However, under current law they live in fear of deportation and have no chance to ever become citizens and fulfill their potential.

“These young people have lived in America since they were children and built their lives here,” said Graham.  “There is support across the country for allowing Dreamers — who have records of achievement — to stay, work, and reach their full potential.  We should not squander these young people’s talents and penalize our own nation.  Our legislation would allow these young people – who grew up in the United States – to contribute more fully to the country they love.  They have a powerful story to tell and this may be an area where both parties can come together.”

“Hundreds of thousands of talented young people who have grown up in our country are at risk of deportation to countries they barely remember.  I’ll do everything in my power as a United States Senator to protect these Dreamers and give them the chance to become American citizens so they can contribute to a brighter future for all Americans,” said Durbin.  “I first introduced the Dream Act 16 years ago and I’ll continue fighting until it becomes the law of the land. I thank Senator Graham for partnering with me in this bipartisan effort.”

The Dream Act would allow these young people to earn lawful permanent residence and eventually American citizenship if they:

  • Are longtime residents who came to the U.S. as children;
  • Graduate from high school or obtain a GED;
  • Pursue higher education, work lawfully for at least three years, or serve in the military;
  • Pass security and law enforcement background checks and pay a reasonable application fee;
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the English language and a knowledge of United States history; and
  • Have not committed a felony or other serious crimes and do not pose a threat to our country.

A one-pager of the Dream Act is available here.  A section-by-section of the Dream Act is available here.


We’ve needed both Graham and McCain’s leadership on immigration, which had waned somewhat in recent years. Because if they don’t step up, who among the majority will?

Here’s video of Graham’s and Durbin’s announcement (It doesn’t actually start until 23 minutes in.):

8 thoughts on “Meanwhile, Graham steps up with Dream Act

  1. Doug Ross

    Ok, let’s say we agree on those parameters for a path to citizenship. What about everyone else who doesn’t meet the rules? They also get to stay in the country, too, right? or is there some part of the DREAM act that also beefs up enforcement of the law to deport those who do not meet the criteria? I’m doubtful.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        And if you watch the video, you see that right off the bat, Graham says he applauds Trump’s efforts to get rid of “bad hombres”…

    1. Doug Ross

      So you support deportation of those who do not meet the criteria? that’s all I want to know. Is this just a path to faster citizenship for a select group of people here illegally? and with everything remaining the same for those who don’t meet the rules? Let’s see some compromise. Keep the best and brightest, send the rest back to go through the process legally if they choose to do so. There are far too many in this country now legally, doing everything right who don’t have an easy path. I have friends on H1B visa who pay tens of thousands in taxes, pay thousands in fees for paperwork, and still have to wait YEARS just to get in the queue. They did it the right way and deserve first crack at citizenship.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        “So you support deportation of those who do not meet the criteria?”

        I don’t know whether to say yes or no because I’m not familiar with the criteria.

        Am I for deporting anyone who has grown up in this country, and had no say in whatever actions were involved in getting him or her here to start with? No, I am not. Such people have been Americans all their lives, and don’t know anything else. It would be outrageous to cast them into a strange land.

        What are the criteria as you see them?

        1. Doug Ross

          The ones listed in the Graham’s bill. There are six bullet points above. Meet them and Graham says you get a path to citizenship. And if you don’t? Same as it ever was.

          1. Juan Caruso

            As usual, Gang of lawyers leader Graham promotes a popular boon for yet another attorney lobby – immigration lawyers.

            Here is what the Sachs Law Group, LLC (Philadelphia, PA.) says,

            “Nothing prevents a Dreamer candidate from handling his or her own individual application for deferred action. Self-assessment, however, has its pitfalls. Wouldn’t it be preferable for that Dreamer candidate to engage experienced counsel for the benefit of his or her insights and expertise? Doesn’t it seem important to review collateral issues such as taxes, use of social security numbers, and related factors that may need to be resolved? Moreover, wouldn’t it be valuable for a Dreamer to know whether s/he might be eligible for other, additional immigration benefits? Wouldn’t it be “worth it,” given the impact on a Dreamer’s future.

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