Dreams Postponed for Hundreds of Thousands of Children
Senate Continues to Delay a Vote on the DREAM Act
Washington D.C. - Yesterday, the United States Senate failed to invoke cloture on the Defense Authorization Act, which contained the DREAM Act (S. 729) as an amendment. A minority of 42 senators chose to filibuster a procedural motion, blocking the will of a clear majority of the Senate and the American public who support the DREAM Act. This means that the DREAM Act will not be taken up for a vote this week and the future of the bill remains uncertain.
The DREAM Act would provide undocumented students brought to the United States as children with the opportunity to earn permanent legal status upon meeting certain requirements. Despite growing up in the United States and being educated in American schools, these students face barriers in pursuing a college degree and are left unable to join the workforce due to their lack of legal immigration status.
The First Focus Campaign for Children, a bipartisan children's advocacy organization, has been at the forefront of advocacy for passage of the DREAM Act. Campaign for Children President Bruce Lesley released the following statement:
"The Senate denied the DREAM Act a fair vote on its merits despite overwhelming support from business, education, military, and religious leaders, as well as 70 percent of the American people. Once again hundreds of thousands of innocent children are paying the price for our country's broken immigration system.
"Until the DREAM Act becomes law, Walter Lara, an honor student from Miami, Florida who was brought to the U.S when he was only 3 years old will not achieve his dreams of continuing college and his career in computer graphics. And until the DREAM Act becomes law, Laura Lopez, a 22-year old college graduate from California, will not achieve her dream of attending law school. There are countless stories of talented young people like Walter and Laura waiting for the opportunity to contribute to our country.
"We are deeply concerned that more than a dozen so-called supporters of this legislation used a procedural maneuver to avoid a vote on the DREAM Act. It is unacceptable that once again the dreams of so many children remain on hold due to political gridlock.
"We applaud the heroic efforts of so many youth leaders who participated in countless events across the country and flooded Congress with calls and faxes over the past week. The impact they have made will continue to fuel the conversation so that we achieve a victory on this important legislation later this year."
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