January 14, 2011

Be Our Guest / Daniel Elsener

Let us follow Sen. Lugar’s lead and pull together to support the most deserving of our young people

Sen. Richard G. Lugar should be commended for his innovative thinking about the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, and for his courage to take serious action toward a real solution.

Action—bold and forthright—is Lugar’s legacy of service to this country on so many issues. His tireless quest for peace and justice deserves our adamant support. He certainly has mine.

In the Dec. 7, 2010, issue of The Washington Post, a reporter described the DREAM Act as legislation that is “impossible to ignore.”

Like that reporter, I agree that we must continue to point out the human face of this issue—faces of hope, opportunity and our nation’s future.

Of course, the human tragedy of limiting the achievements of talented young people is reason enough to pass the DREAM Act, but the economic and national defense reasons are also compelling.

Valuable creative and intellectual capital is being lost every day because of both parties’ failure to enact a plan that will help productive and worthy young people develop their talents and make positive contributions to our nation.

Lugar proposed a sound policy that would benefit a tremendous number of undocumented young people as they seek to create a better life for themselves, their families and our nation.

Marian University in Indianapolis is dedicated to working with these individuals to make their dreams come true and serve the United States as well. We need these young people, and they need a chance to be successful.

On Dec. 18, 2010, Lugar voted for the DREAM Act. I encourage all Hoosiers to continue to support Lugar and all leaders of goodwill who want to deal with immigration issues in a long-term, productive and comprehensive manner.

In a comprehensive reform context, I am confident that the DREAM Act, which would provide a select group of

high-achieving students with a legal pathway to United States residency, will pass.

With the new Congress now convened for 2011, let us all pull together to see that the most deserving of our young people get a chance to become highly effective citizens in our communities and nation.

(Steve Seitz is a member of St. Louis de Montfort Parish in Fishers, Ind., in the Lafayette Diocese.)

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