December 13, 2010
Last week, in a historic vote, the House of Representatives passed the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act by a margin of 216-198. In doing so, the House listened to the voices of hundreds of thousands of undocumented young people and supporters across the country telling them to pass this common sense, fiscally responsible legislation.
The DREAM Act is supported by a diverse majority of Americans, leaders in the education and civil rights communities, and prominent military leaders including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and General Colin Powell. It is fiscally responsible—as the CBO recently pointed out, DREAM would actually reduce deficits by $2.2 billion over the next 10 years—and would strengthen our armed forces by expanding the pool of applicants willing to serve and improving troop readiness. Perhaps most importantly, the DREAM Act represents a great return on the investment our country has already made in young people who have completed elementary school and high school, worked hard and are ready to contribute to society as adults.
The undersigned organizations, and the young people we represent, believe in the American values of justice, fairness, and opportunity for all, which is why we have been working with partner organizations and our undocumented allies to urge Congress to pass this critical legislation. Through national days of action, social media campaigns, direct lobbying and more, we have worked hard to show the widespread support for the DREAM Act. But what we have done pales in comparison to the courageousness of the young “DREAMers” themselves.
In the past days, weeks, months, and years, these undocumented young people have rallied together, staged sit-ins, protests, hunger strikes, and lobby visits with their Congressional representatives. Against all odds, and in some cases, the imminent threat of deportation, they continue to stand united, hopeful, and dedicated to serving the only country they call home.
In the coming days, when the Senate is faced with the opportunity to vote on this bill, we hope you will think of Emilio Vicente of Siler City, North Carolina, an honors high school graduate who wants to go on to college and major in political science or public policy. We hope you will remember Gaby Pacheco of Miami, Florida, who walked 1,500 miles from Miami to DC in support of the DREAM Act. We hope you will think of David Cho, a UCLA student with a 3.6 GPA who wants to join the U.S. Air Force after graduation, and aspires to become a Senator one day. We hope you will listen to your conscience and vote to pass the DREAM Act so that that Emilio, Gaby, David and the scores of young people like them who want nothing more than to give back to our nation will have the opportunity to do so, to the benefit of us all.
United StatesStudent Association
Rock the Vote
The League of Young Voters
Black Youth Vote
Advocates for Youth