U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, called his vote for a bill to provide legal status for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children one of his proudest moments in Congress.
The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM, Act was originally filed by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, in 2001, but has never been passed, although it’s been brought up multiple times in subsequent congressional sessions.
On Tuesday, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed the latest iteration of the bill, the American Dream and Promise Act.
The legislation would provide a pathway to citizenship for more than 100,000 immigrants in Illinois, including more than 42,000 so-called DREAMers.
“I’ve been fighting every way I can to make the DREAM Act a reality,” Foster said. “These are patriotic Americans who deserve our support.”
Still, the legislation is unlikely to be voted on in the Republican-controlled Senate, which, according to Foster, is evidence of a broken system.
He said a bill like this nets support from the majority of Americans and would get bipartisan support in the Senate if it were called up for a vote.
Foster also said that he would like any Senator willing to vote against it to ask if “they’re really doing anything to help our democracy work better.”
“Simply put, we are a better nation because of them, and I am proud to represent communities like Aurora, Joliet, Bolingbrook and Naperville, where immigrants are welcomed and diversity is celebrated,” Foster said.