Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton signed on to a DREAM Act resolution along with Mayor Jonathan Rothschild of Tucson at a mayor’s conference Thursday in Florida.
The resolution will be sent to members of Congress for a final vote Saturday. It requests the Department of Homeland Security create a program allowing eligible youth to apply for provisional status until Congress passes the DREAM Act, or Development Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act.
“I’ve always supported the DREAM Act,” said Stanton. “These young people are an asset to our city and community and we need them to get a college education.”
Roughly 20 other mayors across the country were also co-sponsors of the resolution.
Considering Phoenix’s demographics and high number of Latino residents, Stanton said a piece of legislation like the DREAM Act makes “good, common sense” on a local scale.
It has come up for a vote in 2007 and 2010, both times unsuccessful. The bill came five votes short of the needed 60 votes for passage in the Senate in 2011.
The DREAM Act seeks to legalize the statuses of millions of undocumented youth, granted they meet requirements like being a high school graduate, not having a criminal record, and have entered the country under the age of 16. They would then have six years to obtain a two-year college degree or complete two years of military service.
Stanton said he is happy to be a co-sponsor and will continue to speak out on the issue after final decision is made.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is an annual meeting of mayors around the country representing more than 1,000 cities.
Stanton attended the meeting leading as the Defense Transition Task Force’s chairman.
Diana Martinez is freelancing this summer for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.