Thwarting the DREAMS of Deserving Young People
October 24, 2007
Washington, DC - Today the U.S. Senate failed to muster the 60 votes necessary to consider the DREAM Act, a targeted measure that would provide a path to earned citizenship to talented young immigrants who attend college or serve in the military. Fifty-two Senators voted to proceed, and three supporters of the measure (Sens. Kennedy, Dodd, and Boxer) were absent. The following is a statement by Frank Sharry, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, a non-partisan pro-immigrant advocacy group in Washington, DC.
We are disappointed that the DREAM Act fell a few votes short of being considered, but we are heartened by the fact that some 55 Senators are on record supporting action on the measure. That a clear majority wants to take some action on targeted immigration measures should encourage those leading the charge on AgJOBS to keep up the fight and encourage House leaders to consider creative ways to move a number of specific immigration measures simultaneously. With determined leadership, the House and the Senate should have opportunities to take up positive immigration reforms before the end of the year.
We are saddened and angered that so many Senators, including a majority of Republicans, opted to stand in the schoolhouse door and thwart the dreams of deserving young people who are American in all but paperwork. This occurred the day after Congressman Tom Tancredo called for the arrest of DREAM Act kids who came to the Capitol to plead their case. If the Republican Party continues to demonize and oppose immigrants, its future as a national party capable of winning the White House or Congress may well be in doubt.
Today's opposition to aspiring students and soldiers who think of American as their only home is not only politically short-sighted, it grates on the conscience of the nation.