On Saturday, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the long-awaited DREAM Act and among the celebrities who have come out in favor of this legislation that would create a pathway to legalization for undocumented youth are Eva Longoria, Ashley Judd and America Ferrera.
Also 79 percent of Illinois residents support the DREAM Act according to a new poll by the University of Illinois at Chicago and Univision Radio News.
"Would you favor or oppose giving undocumented immigrants who came here before the age of 16 and have attended college or served in the military a path to legalization?" asked the poll commissioned by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights with funding from the McCormick Foundation.
More than 1,700 voters in Chicago and the suburbs were polled. Even those who voted for Republican Mark Kirk, the new senator from Illinois, support the DREAM Act.
Kirk is a key vote in the Senate on the DREAM Act but has previously said he would not support the legislation until there is more border control. Kirk, ironically, speaks Spanish and went to school in Mexico.
Meanwhile, celebrities like Longoria and Ferrera along with New York Mets second baseman Luis Castillo, musician Emilio Estefan and others signed a letter released by the civil rights organization, the National Council of La Raza, in favor of the DREAM Act.
The letter read:
America cannot afford to lose another generation of young people who stand to contribute to its economic and social prosperity. The beneficiaries of the 'DREAM Act' are our future teachers, nurses, and engineers. The U.S. has invested in the education of many of these individuals since kindergarten, and it is only fitting that we enable them to serve and contribute, allowing our nation to reap the benefits. The Latino community is counting on Congress to come together and show its support for the future of these young people and the nation.
Judd supports DREAM Act, according to HispanicNashville.com
The DREAM Act would allow talented young men and women--those brought to this country as children but residing here without immigration documents--to pay their way through college or join the armed forces, and eventually earn their US citizenship. I have met several of these students and listened to their inspiring stories. I've found each of them to be as much a Tennessean as you and me, with the loyalties, warmth, accent and manners to prove it. We have already made an investment in them, and now they're eager to use their talents to give back to the only country they have ever known and the state they love. They are our next generation of teachers, soldiers and scientists.
It's time that the Senate acted. We can't continue punishing these youth who grew up here and came here with their families. They have so much to contribute to this country and they deserve to live out their dreams.