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UPDATE @ 5:15 PM: Great news via twitter from our friends at ICIRR: Illinois Dream Act passes the senate, 45-11!!!
We’ll have more soon.
It’s a busy day for immigrant rights advocates and DREAMers in Illinois. Today, hundreds of pro-immigrant advocates from across the state have made the trip to Springfield, the state capital, urging state lawmakers to vote “yes” on two important pro-migrant pieces of legislation.
The first piece of legislation that is up for a vote this afternoon in the state Senate is the “Illinois DREAM Act.” This bill would make college scholarships available to undocumented students through a privately funded “Illinois Dream Fund.” It would also grant a driving certificate to undocumented students, and encourage high school counselors and college admissions officers to be trained on educational opportunities for immigrant youth.
The second bill is in the House and is called the “Smart Enforcement Act,” which would track the local impact and costs imposed by federal immigration policy on our local law enforcement officers, and give counties a free choice to opt out of “Secure Communities” program. It even bars spending state resources on detaining and deporting non-criminal immigrants — which is in line with current Department of Homeland Security policy of prioritizing deportations of criminal undocumented immigrants, though it’s not always enforced nation-wide.