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Make the DREAM come true: Proposed law would clear path to earned citizenship

The Senate is moving toward a vote on a vitally important immigration reform that would enable children of illegal immigrants to earn permanent legal status by completing college or military service.

Called the DREAM Act, the measure should become the law of the land.

Today, there’s simply no good route for the sons and daughters of undocumented workers – the youngsters who entered along with their parents – to get on the path toward citizenship.

There are two choices: Encourage those young men and women to become contributing members of society or essentially tell them to shove off.

The DREAM Act would do the former.

Anti-immigration zealots warn against drawing illegals over the border in search of lavish benefits. But the bill applies only to children who’ve been here five years at the time of enactment.

On the other side are advocates who insist it’s dangerous to pass piecemeal reforms. If you can’t in one fell swoop create a path to legalization for 11 million people, they say, do nothing at all.

The best course is to do what can be done. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has tacked the DREAM Act on as an amendment to a defense appropriations bill that will likely be voted on within a matter of days. Success in the Senate would leave the measure in the lap of the House.

The DREAM Act is a great idea. On its merits, it has earned passage.

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