05/14/2013 12:31 pm ET Updated Jul 14, 2013

Perfecting the Immigration Bill

The Gang of Eight's immigration reform bill is a great start. But it's not perfect -- and I intend to do something about it.

Last week, I introduced several amendments to the bill, but as an immigrant who came to this country as a young student, one of these amendments is particularly close to my heart: It would make DREAM Act students eligible for federal financial aid.

Right now, students who were brought to this country as children through no fault of their own ("DREAMers") can't get access to any federal aid. No work-study. No government-backed student loans. Nothing.

My amendment would fix this, and give these students the same options to pay for their education as every other studious young American.

We're going to face stiff opposition from some of my Senate colleagues who want to make it harder for DREAM Act students to succeed.

DREAM Act students have grown up in our schools, pledging allegiance to our flag everyday.

Now they want to earn college degrees here, to help them give back to their communities, start businesses, create jobs, and pay taxes. Federal aid will make higher education, before a distant hope, possible for so many of them.

To give these DREAMers access to a little bit more of the American Dream -- a chance to pay for college education -- I need your help.

Over the next few weeks, the Senate Judiciary Committee will discuss my amendment -- along with 300 others. Help this one make it through by signing on as a citizen co-sponsor.

As someone who immigrated to Hawaii from Japan as a young child, I know firsthand the determination it takes to thrive in a new school, a new language, and a new country. I was able to succeed because of all the opportunities I had.

I want to ensure DREAMers have the same opportunities to succeed in the only country they call home as I did -- and the same access to federal assistance as their American-born peers.

Please, help me make that happen.