May 20, 2013

SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE ADOPTS HIRONO MEASURES SUPPORTING DREAMERS, VICTIMS OF CHILD TRAFFICKING

WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate Judiciary Committee today approved three measures offered by Senator Mazie K. Hirono that support DREAM Act college students and help identify victims of child trafficking at the border.

“These DREAMers were brought to our country through no fault of their own, and grew up in our schools and churches. They deserve the opportunity to earn a college degree, start a business and help contribute to our economy," Hirono said. "My measure makes DREAM Act students eligible for federal student aid and gives these students financial options to pay for their education like other academically qualified Americans,” said Hirono. “My amendment protecting victims of child trafficking puts critical safeguards at border patrol stations to support this vulnerable population.”

An additional Hirono measure adopted today improves the penalty processing system for Registered Provisional Immigrants.

Below read summaries of the Hirono amendments adopted today and are now included in the Senate’s immigration reform legislation:

Makes DREAM Act Students Eligible For Federal Student Aid: Senator Hirono’s amendment would make DREAM Act students eligible for federal student loans, work-study, and campus services like academic counseling. The amendment would give these students financial options to pay for their education like other academically qualified Americans. These are students who were brought to the United States before they were 16 years of age and were granted registered provisional immigrant status, or who are immigrant farm workers with blue card status.

Protects Victims Of Child Trafficking: Senator Hirono’s amendment, the Child Trafficking Victims Protection Act, would place independent child welfare professionals at border patrol stations to provide basic humanitarian assistance to unaccompanied immigrant children held in border stations. The measure also ensures appropriate screening of children to identify victims of persecution or trafficking and ensures children are not held for longer than necessary in U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities.

Makes The Path To Citizenship More Fair For Registered Provisional Immigrants: Senator Hirono’s measure makes the path to citizenship more fair for Registered Provisional Immigrants by making penalties payable in installments.