The following is a statement from Angela M. Kelley, Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, regarding the Senate’s consideration of the DREAM Act:
“Senate Republicans and a handful of Democrats have forgotten the meaning of Christmas. Rather than offer tidings of comfort and joy, they voted to shatter the hopes and dreams of hundreds of thousands of young people by rejecting the DREAM Act, a limited measure for immigrant youth that would also have strengthened our military and economy.
The Senate’s Grinch-like rejection of the DREAM Act that won bipartisan House approval last week shows how most Republicans would rather score short-term political wins than do the right thing. Senators who rejected the DREAM Act are punishing children for their parents’ illegal action and denying our nation their moral leadership, entrepreneurship, and other important contributions.
This common-sense bill would have allowed children who were brought into this country without documents to apply for legal status after meeting a two-year college requirement or entering the U.S. military. The measure would increase federal revenues by $1.7 billion over 10 years.
Unfortunately, the politics of fear mongering and false information suppressed whatever moral courage some Republicans might have found to vote for the bill. They would not have stood alone, as this measure received bipartisan support from politicians, state and local public officials, military leaders, conservative pundits, faith leaders, and newspapers from every region of the country. The DREAMers staged rallies, walked the corridors on Capitol Hill, and spoke publicly of their undocumented status—at great legal risk—to show senators there was nothing to fear from their proposed legalization. Despite today’s setback, the young people will not be deterred and their dreams not denied.
Sens. Durbin (D-IL), Reid (D-NV), Menendez (D-NJ), and Lugar (R-IN) are to be applauded for their leadership as are the 51 other senators who voted in support of the DREAM Act."