Laurene Powell Jobs, left, the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs, is one of a growing number of Americans pushing for President Obama, right, to make changes to the immigration system that allow undocumented immigrants to become U.S. citizens (Photo : Reuters)
The call for changes to the nation's immigration system is growing louder with each week.
The latest to join the cause for immigration reform is Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple founder and technology icon Steve Jobs, who launched TheDreamIsNow.org.
An online petition that supports the Dream Act--which would legalize undocumented youths under age 30 who entered the U.S. before they turned 15 and have lived in the country for five years--Jobs' new website encourages immigrants of all races to send in stories, pictures and to sign the petition as they aim to give undocumented youths a voice.
"We won't rest until Congress hears our voices, with momentum building for immigration reform, the time is now," a statement on the web site reads. "Tell your story, send in a picture, sign the petition and become a part of a living, breathing call to action that Congress can't ignore. Story by story, voice by voice we will make it happen."
Powell Jobs told Yahoo! News that she became interested in the Dream Act thanks to College Track, an initiative that she founded geared towards helping financially struggling and minority students get a college education. After finding that many of the students in the program were undocumented, she decided to help.
"They're our children's friends. They are people we know. This is a huge national problem that needs resolution," Powell Jobs said.
Powell Jobs' sentiments towards the hot-button issue of immigration reform are not limited to only her, according to a new poll from Associated Press-GfK.
According to the poll, 62 percent of the 1,004 adults polled between Jan. 10 and 14 favored providing a legal way for undocumented immigrants already living in the country to become legal U.S. citizens. Roughly 35 percent opposed such a measure--23 percent of that group saying they were strongly opposed to it--but the numbers reflected a shift in favor of immigration reform.
That same poll, taken in 2010, had only 50 percent favoring legalizing undocumented immigrants, with 48 percent opposed, and the year before in 2009, 50 percent of those polled opposed granting any citizenship to said immigrants, with only 47 percent in favor of doing so.
With President Obama proposing a pathway to citizenship in his new, broad immigration overhaul proposal, Democrats and Republicans are still yet to see eye-to-eye on that subject. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has proposed a piece-by-piece reform of immigration which involves allowing undocumented residents to apply for citizenship, but offers no pathways and stringent requirements to be met.
However, the poll seems to favor Democrats over Republicans by a 41-34 margin on which party is more trusted to handle immigration. That's not a good sign for the GOP, who were crushed in the polls in November among the Latino vote, which helped President Obama secure a second presidential term.