Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Coloradans Applaud Senators Udall and Bennet for their Co-Sponsorship of the DREAM Act

Colorado Senators once again stand up for immigrant youth

Denver, CO–Today, U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Mark Udall (D-CO), joined Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) to introduce the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act in the U.S. Senate. The DREAM Act offers talented young people, Americans in all but paperwork, an opportunity to fully contribute to the country they call home and earn their way to U.S. citizenship, after completing an extensive set of requirements including attending college or serving in the military.

“ The support that both of our Senator’s have given to the DREAM Act and their leadership on this issue, has been strong and unwavering.” said Victor Galvan, a DREAMer and youth leader with Longmont Youth for Equality (LYFE), as well as a Board member of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition.

Bennet and Udall’s introduction of the DREAM Act is yet another example of their support for these deserving young people.

Last December, the DREAM Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives and both Senators Bennet and Udall joined a majority of their colleagues in voting for it. Despite this tremendous support, the DREAM Act came just five votes short of overcoming a filibuster by then Senator George Lemieux (R-FL) and his Republican Senate colleagues.

Though Congress has the ultimate responsibility to pass the DREAM Act, Senator Bennet and 22 of his Senate colleagues sent a letter to President Obama urging him to use his executive authority to grant deferred action to young people who would be eligible for the DREAM Act. Deferred action would allow these young people to come out of the shadows to live and work without the threat of deportation until Congress passes the DREAM Act to permanently resolve their immigration status and put them on the road to earned citizenship.

“ While the DREAM Act is necessary to help thousands of American youth achieve their dreams, we need the President to step up now and grant DREAM Act eligible youth relief in the form of a moratorium on DREAMer deportations”, continued Galvan, “ We will keep working hard to achieve our goals, and the President can help us do it without fear of deportation.”

Polls show the DREAM Act is supported by 70 percent of American voters, and it has been championed by leaders in the business, faith and education communities, in addition to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who sees it as an important tool for military recruitment and readiness. It is time for Congress to catch up with the American people.