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In Poll After Poll, the American Public Supports the DREAM Act

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Gallup Poll Upholds Earlier Findings that DREAM is Popular, Relevant, and Common Sense

Washington – As the House-passed version of the DREAM Act moves toward a Senate vote as early as next week, new polling shows the bill’s popularity among the American people, and underscores the importance of its passage.  A new Gallup poll finds that 54 percent of Americans support the DREAM Act.  According to this poll, Gallup’s version of DREAM even has more support than the START treaty and banning all earmarks. 

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “Despite the lies and slander that continue to circulate around DREAM, Americans recognize that this is common sense legislation that will benefit the country.  The DREAM Act has been around for ten years, addresses a defined group of high-achieving young people, and is a win both for the youth who would benefit and the country at large.  The only thing standing in the way of this bill becoming law is the will of a handful of Republican senators.”

The new Gallup poll shows majority support for DREAM, despite failing to describe the program as drafted.  Other polls that describe the program’s requirements more fully show even stronger support.  For example, the Gallup poll does not explain that DREAM covers a defined group of young people who are already here in the country; it has strict age limits and is not an on-going program.  Also, the DREAM Act includes significant fines and a rigorous application process. 

A November 2010 poll conducted by Lake Research Partners found that the DREAM Act enjoys strong support across party lines.  Overall, 66 percent of American voters nationwide supported the DREAM Act, including majorities of Democrats (81%), independents (60%), and Republicans (57%).  A poll released last summer by First Focus similarly found that 70 percent of Americans supported the DREAM Act, including 80 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of Republicans.  Among Latino voters, DREAM has especially strong support.  In election eve polling conducted by Latino Decisions in eight key 2010 states, 75 percent of Latino voters said passing the DREAM Act in short order was either “extremely important” or “very important.”

After passing the House earlier this week on a bipartisan basis, the DREAM Act will be taken up by the Senate in the coming days.  Votes from a handful of Republican senators are needed to turn this bill into law.  Several influential newspapers across the country called out their home-state senators in editorials today, demanding that they support the DREAM Act. 

The Arizona Republic editorialized that “Opposing the Dream Act is a stunning rejection of real, live children whose just want to serve the nation they see as their homeland” and wrote that, “Arizona’s senators can decry such narrow, limited thinking.  John McCain and Jon Kyl can be leaders and help get the Dream Act through Congress this year.” Similarly, after noting the “craven flip-flopping” of former DREAM sponsor Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the Salt Lake Tribune wrote that “Those who would gain the most from passage of the DREAM Act are people who think, speak and act as American as so many Mayflower descendants, yet are made to suffer for the sins of their fathers,” while calling for the “long-overdue passage of the DREAM Act.”

 For more information on the DREAM Act, please visit www.americasvoiceonline.org/DREAM.

America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.