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Washington Senators back DREAM Act

May 11, 2011

Today, Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray joined their colleagues in introducing the 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.

"OneAmerica applauds Senators Murray and Cantwell for their support of the DREAM Act which already won the support of a majority of both houses of Congress just five months ago," said OneAmerica Executive Director Pramila Jayapal. "However, we would remind President Obama who just yesterday made a renewed commitment to the DREAM Act and immigration reform that he doesn't need to wait for Congress to decide whether or not they will again play politics with the lives of children who grew up in and love this country. He has the power to take executive action immediately and end the deportation of DREAM students."

Last December, the DREAM Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives and had the support of a majority of Senators, but was blocked by a cynical Republican filibuster. Though Congress has the ultimate responsibility to pass the DREAM Act, both Washington Senators and 20 of their Senate colleagues sent a letter to President Obama in April 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 them 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.

In a year when Beltway pundits predicted that anti-immigrant bills would sweep state legislatures and politicians would shy away from immigration reform, the reality has proved much different. Recently, President Obama has held several high profile events supporting immigration reform, including a major speech in El Paso yesterday, the DREAM Act has been re-introduced, and Arizona copycat legislation has stalled or failed in many states, including Virginia, New Hampshire, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, and, just last week, in Florida. Both California and Maryland have introduced state-level DREAM Act bills, and other states are considering similar bills, that would provide immigrant students with greater access to higher education or driver’s licenses.


Media:

For more information or to arrange interviews, contact Charlie McAteer, OneAmerica Communications Director, 206-452-8402, charlie@weareoneamerica.org

About OneAmerica

OneAmerica, formerly Hate Free Zone, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that advances the fundamental principles of democracy and justice by building power within immigrant communities.