For Immediate Release

December 10, 2010

Contact: Natali Fani, 202.787.1813, natali@mateagroup.com

 

Outcome of DREAM in the Senate Will Profoundly

 

Influence the Future of the Latino/Immigrant Vote

 

DREAM Students Release Video Asking Senators to Vote with Their Conscience, Stop

 

Playing Political Games with Our Lives:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UfArjhHMrc


 

Washington, DC – Last Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2010 - DREAM Act, H.R. 6497 - with a historic bipartisan vote. We expect the Senate to vote on the DREAM Act next week, a vote that will clearly define the commitment of each Senator to strengthen the nation and support the Latino and immigrant community. After 10 years advocating for the DREAM Act, its failure to pass will have devastating consequences for our community and politicians alike.

 

“We have grown as a Latino and immigrant community to become effective local and national organizers; we are paying carefully attention to the way each Senator votes on DREAM next week in order to respond accordingly,” expressed Carlos Roa, a 23 year old undocumented student from the Trail of DREAMs and Presente.org. Roa arrived to the United States at the age of 2.

 

For more than a decade, advocates across the country have fought for the DREAM Act. This year along, DREAMers have mobilized hundreds of thousands in support to the legislation by lobbying in Washington, DC and fasting. We have organized hundreds of peaceful civil disobedience actions throughout the country and, among others, calling and emailing their Members of Congress.

 

“Yesterday alone, we made over 77,000 calls to urge Senators to vote yes on DREAM; imagine what we can do on election day,” explained Felipe Matos, a 24 year old undocumented student from the Trail of DREAMs and Presente.org who arrived to the United States at the age of 14. “We will no longer accept political maneuvers from anyone, regardless of their political party. We expect Senators like Kay Hagan, a Democrat, and George LeMieux, a Republican to follow their conscience and to vote Yes on DREAM,” said Matos.

 

The Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that “enacting the bill would reduce deficits by about $2.2 billion over the 2011-2020 period.

 

Since their first day of their 1500 mile journey from Miami to the nation’s capitol, the Trail of DREAMs walkers have inspired thousands of immigrant youth across the nation, giving them the courage of speaking up about their reality.

 

For the past eleven days, immigrant students have been fasting outside of the Phoenix district office of Republican Senator John McCain in support of passage of the DREAM Act.  Thousands have arrived to Washington, DC this year along to lobby and organize events targeting Members of Congress,” said Roa. “We are not going anywhere until DREAM Act gets signed by the President.”

 

The DREAM Act is a legislation that will legalize the status of young people who have never committed a crime and who dream of making positive contributions to our society. Financially, the DREAM Act is a positive legislation for the nation, as concluded in the 2010 study by the UCLA North American Integration and Development Center, which estimates that the total earnings of DREAM Act beneficiaries over the course of their working lives would be between $1.4 trillion and $3.6 trillion.

 

“We need both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to demonstrate that they are willing to take action that is in the best interest of our country. We need them to put politics aside and pass the DREAM Act,” expressed Gaby Pacheco, a 25 year old undocumented student from Trail of DREAMs and Presente.org who arrived to the United States at the age of 7.

 

We are part of the solution, we are not going anywhere. Senators Brown, Hagan, Hutchison, LeMieux, McCaskill, and Snowe, we need your yes vote on DREAM!”concluded Pacheco. 

 

To interview the students from Trail of DREAMs/Presente.org, please contact 202.787.1813 or email natali@mateagroup.com

 

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