Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis made the following remarks in response to the Senate vote on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or Dream, Act:
"A tremendous opportunity has been lost in America. In an immensely disheartening vote, a handful of U.S. senators have chosen to shut the door on the hopes and dreams of millions of young people — our nation's future. The Dream Act is good, bipartisan legislation that would have strengthened our economy, our workforce and our national security. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has even reported that the Dream Act would cut the deficit by $2.2 billion over the next 10 years. But more importantly, it would have tapped the potential of more than 700,000 young people, allowing some of our nation's brightest a fighting chance at a better future.
"President Obama has long said that the Dream Act is not only the right thing to do for hardworking young people who seek to serve a country they know as their own; it is the right thing for the United States of America. And as the proud daughter of immigrant parents, I agree. I stand strong with the Latino community, all of this nation's immigrants and fair-minded people all over this country, knowing that this administration acted aggressively at every level in support of this bill.
"Three Republicans supported the Dream Act. Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Richard Lugar (Indiana) and Robert Bennett (Utah) should be applauded for doing the right thing by voting for this bill. It is truly a shame that many of their colleagues didn't have the courage to follow suit.
"The American people deserve a serious debate on immigration. I agree with the president that Americans don't expect Washington to solve their problems, but they rightfully expect their government to work for them, not against them. Saturday's vote only renews this administration's commitment to continue to fight for all Americans."
* Read this news release en Español.