For Immediate Release
Date: Wednesday, September 26, 2007
CONTACT: Federico A. de Jesús, (202) 224-2939
REID: WE MUST INVEST IN THE FUTURE OF ALL OUR NATION'S CHILDREN
Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following
statement today on the floor of the U.S. Senate in favor of the DREAM
Act, to help ensure that all children who grow up in the United States
have a chance to succeed.
Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
Mr. President, I was profoundly disappointed when Republicans blocked
the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform legislation earlier this
I continue to believe that tough, fair, practical and comprehensive
reform is the only way to get control of our broken immigration system
and to restore the rule of law.
I remain committed to enacting such legislation in the future. By
doing nothing, America is left with the same problems that have
plagued our broken system for years.
But until we can once again move forward on comprehensive reform, we
should enact two crucially important elements of that reform: the
DREAM Act and the AgJobs proposal.
I am a co-sponsor and strong supporter of the DREAM Act, because I
believe that education is the key to our children's future and our
success as a nation.
The DREAM Act would allow children who have grown-up in the United
States -- brought here by their parents through no fault of their own
-- to legalize their status. The DREAM Act recognizes that children
should not be penalized for the actions of their parents.
Many of these children came here when they were very young. Many
don't even remember their home countries or speak the language of
their home countries. They think of themselves as American and they
are just as loyal and devoted to our country as any American.
Only children who came to the US when they were 15 years old or
younger and have been in the US for at least five years can apply, and
they would have to meet certain criteria, including --
-- including earning a high school diploma;
-- demonstrating good moral character;
-- and passing criminal and security clearances.
To qualify for permanent status, they must go to college or serve in
the military for two years.
Mr. President, I have met star students in Nevada who would qualify
for the DREAM Act. With it, their futures are limitless. Without it,
their hope is diminished.
Many of the children this bill would help are very talented and have
graduated at the top or near the top of their classes.
What a waste it is to make it more difficult for them to go to
college, or to prohibit them from getting jobs, when they could be
making meaningful contributions to their communities and to our
What good does it do anybody to prevent these young people from having
I had hoped that we would be able to offer this legislation as an
amendment to the pending legislation, the DOD authorization bill.
Over the last few days, I have had numerous conversations with Senator
Durbin, the DREAM Act's chief sponsor, and other Senate colleagues
about doing so.
Unfortunately, some Republicans are opposed to this proposal and are
unwilling to let us move forward on this bill.
We will not give up the fight, and are committed to trying to move
this important legislation by mid-November.
Enacting the DREAM Act will give more of our children an opportunity
to succeed. I hope it will soon be enacted, so we can put the
American dream within reach for more children in Nevada and in our
Thank you ULI in Austin for distributing this