Senate to take historic vote on the DREAM Act

Saturday morning vote will determine fate of hundreds of thousands of young students

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Washington D.C. – Thursday night, Senator Harry Reid filed cloture on the DREAM Act, setting the stage for an historic vote on Saturday morning that could finally resolve the uncertain futures of hundreds of thousands of undocumented students who are American in everything but their immigration status.

The following is a statement from Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council and Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center:

“The moral, intellectual and practical rationale for the DREAM Act is overwhelming. The White House supports it. The Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Justice, entrusted with enforcing and implementing our immigration laws support it. In fact, DHS leadership said today that the DREAM Act would help mitigate border concerns. David Aguilar, Customs and Border Patrol Deputy Commissioner said Passage of the DREAM Act would have a positive effect on our ability to address our nations border, it would do this by allowing us to focus our energy on smugglers, human traffickers and criminal organizations. Furthermore the Department of Education and Americas academic and faith community support it. State legislators, community groups and the American public support it. Why? Because we have already made a financial investment in the education of these young people who have grown up in our communities. There is no other choice than to bring these young people out of the shadows and into the light of day, where they can give back to the only country they know and love. Its good for public safety and good for the economy,” said Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director, American Immigration Council.

“As the first decade of the 21st century comes to an end, the U.S. Senate holds the future of hundreds of thousands of young people in its hands. The DREAM Act, a bill that was conceived as a bipartisan response to the excesses of harsh immigration laws and a broken immigration system, has been working its way through Congress for ten years, but has never been so close to passage as it is today. The truly historic vote in the House of Representatives last week is a testament to the growing political consensus in this country that we must reform our immigration system to make it a body of laws that reflect the best of American values. By giving individuals who work hard, pursue their education and serve their country a chance to become full members of American society we not only reward individual achievement, but invest in our countrys future. The evidence in support of enacting the DREAM Act points to the overwhelming conclusion that its passage will improve the qualify of life for all Americans,” said Mary Giovagnoli, Director Immigration Policy Center.