Today, a group of concerned state legislators from Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Texas and Utah joined forces to stand up for the DREAM Act. On a conference call this afternoon, these local legislators explained how DREAM would benefit their local communities and urged their senators—Sens. Snowe and Collins (R-ME), Sen. Brown (R-MA), Sens. Cornyn and Hutchison (R-TX), and Sen. Hatch (R-UT)—to pass the bill. Unlike certain state legislators who have proposed enforcement-only solutions to our immigration problems, these legislators are dedicated to common-sense immigration policy—policy which focuses on in-state tuition for immigrants and policies that help grow their state’s economies.
State Representative Diane Russell of Maine calls DREAM a common sense solution to an immigration problem:
Passing the DREAM Act is a great example of a common sense proposal. It expands opportunity for all our residents—a goal that I know resonates with many Maine voters, including my colleagues in the U.S. Senate. We should not be punishing young people for their parent’s decision to come to this country illegally. That said, we do need to find a realistic way to bring those young people into the fold and onto the books without “getting ahead of the line.” The DREAM Act is precisely the kind of common sense policy that would do so that is good for Maine’s economy, its residents and our communities.
Luz Robles, a State Senator from Utah, calls the DREAM Act a great economic opportunity for Utah:
The country will agree that criminalizing children is not the way we run our country, it doesn’t reflect our culture or who we are as a nation…Any individual in this country who wants an opportunity to continue to grow and be a taxpayer should get that opportunity and that’s what the DREAM Act does. It recognizes that they’re here and it recognizes that they’re a great source of revenue for our states. More importantly, they are the future of this country.
And Representative Jessica Farrar of Texas asks her Senators—Cornyn and Hutchison—why they would want to walk away from the DREAM Act when it provides so many opportunities:
I’m very concerned because education promotes assimilation and provides opportunities for students … I want to ask Sens. Cornyn and Hutchison—who are opposed to the DREAM Act—why they walk away from the opportunity to develop medical researchers, entrepreneurs, scientists and educators?
These state legislators are just the latest in a growing list of DREAM Act supporters who continue to beat the drum for reform. Today, the White House hosted a conference call with faith leaders who discussed why passing the DREAM Act is the right thing to do. To date, faith leaders, business leaders, academics, leading economists, the Administration (including the military, DHS, Commerce and Education) and even conservative voices have thrown weight behind this bipartisan legislation. While some Congressional members continue to spin the DREAM Act as “back door amnesty” and push other fear-filled myths, more and more voices are joining the fight to give these students a shot at the American DREAM.
Photo by Slightlynorth.