Retired Gen. Colin Powell, a former chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, on Sunday made the case for Congress to pass the DREAM Act, a way for young illegal immigrants to become citizens if they attend college or join the military.

Republicans in the Senate are strongly opposed to attaching the DREAM Act to the annual defense authorization bill. 

“Whether it should be part of the Defense Bill or not, is something the Congress will decide,” Powell said on NBC’s "Meet the Press."

However he stressed that Republicans should not embrace an anti-immigration platform.

“Immigration is what's keeping this country's lifeblood moving forward," he said. 

"America is going to be a minority nation in one more generation. Our minorities are not getting educated well enough now. Fifty percent of our minority kids are not finishing high school. We've got to invest in education. We should use the DREAM Act as one way to do it,” Powell said on Sunday.