“There is a rich precedent supporting the service of non-citizens in the U.S. military. Since the Revolutionary War, non-citizens have enlisted in the armed forces for service during periods of national emergency. Today, about 35,000 non-citizens serve, and about 8,000 permanent resident aliens enllist every year. The DREAM Act represents an opportunity to expand this pool, to the advantage of military recruitment and readiness.”

Introduced by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Senator Patirck Leahy (D-VT) on September 29,2010, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010 addresses the many ways in which our immigration system is broken, and offers a complete solution to end illegal immigration and restore fairness to our immigration laws. Following is a summary of the legislation.

On September 29, 2010, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010. The Act addresses the many ways in which our immigration system is broken, and offers a complete solution to end illegal immigration and restore fairness to our immigration laws. These are the highlights.

New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez introduced a broad immigration reform bill that would put the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. on the path toward legalization and enact other broad reforms.

Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey is expected to introduce comprehensive immigration legislation before the Senate adjourns this week for the midterm recess, and a source tells The Advocate that the legislation will be LGBT-inclusive.

“The best and the brightest of our nation’s immigrant community – who want to go to college and serve in our military – just had the door slammed in their face by the GOP. The fight will continue, but today marks a new low for a party that claims to be the party of opportunity and freedom. Evidently, talented young immigrants are not included in their country club view of who deserves opportunity and freedom.”

Big news out of the Capitol today, as Harry Reid announced this afternoon that he plans to introduce the DREAM Act — which would allow young people brought to the U.S. as children to obtain legal status and contribute to their communities — as an amendment to the defense re-authorization bill the Senate is due to take up next week. Watch as Senator Harry Reid announces his plan.

Last night, Senators Reid, Schumer, Durbin, Feinstein and Menendez held a press conference to announce their framework for moving forward with a comprehensive immigration reform proposal. At the press conference, the senators outlined their ideas for reform and invited Republicans to come to the table and work with them to advance a legislative proposal this year.

As the immigration debate heats up this year, America’s Voice today releases a special report, “Immigration Reform: Know the Players,” providing an indispensable reference for anyone following the issue of immigration reform.

The series, which was originally published in Spanish on MaribelHastings.com in eight thematic installments, provides background information, statistics, and other detailed information on the roles played in the urgent battle for reform by the following groups of supporters: law enforcement; undocumented students; anti-immigrant groups; the pro-immigrant movement; faith communities; farmers and agricultural laborers; business and labor interests; and, of course, the main actors: the White House, Senate and House of Representatives.

A new analysis by the Drum Major Institute (DMI) found that the Comprehensive Immigration Reform ASAP bill introduced by Congressmen Solomon Ortiz and Luis Gutierrez late last year would “make the grade” for strengthening and expanding America’s middle class. DMI states the case succinctly:

The Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act sets the standard for an immigration policy, which will boost our nation’s economy and strengthen and expand its middle class.

The Institute administered a two-part “middle class test,” which the bill passed with flying colors.