Tuesday, November 16, 2010

posted 11/15/10 at 10:41am

BREAKING: Rep.Diaz-Balart (R-FL) Calls for a DREAM Act Vote

Lincoln Diaz-Balart
21st District of Florida
November 15, 2010 


WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), co-author and an original sponsor of the DREAM Act, today called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to schedule a vote on the "American DREAM Act" in the U.S. House of Representatives during the upcoming "lame-duck" session. The legislation, which Rep. Diaz-Balart has sponsored or cosponsored since 2002, would restore states' rights to determine residency requirements for higher education benefits - giving states the option to provide in-state tuition for college. "The American Dream Act" will facilitate access to postsecondary educational opportunities for immigrant students in the United States who currently face barriers in pursuing a college education.

That's right, key House Republicans want a vote on the common-sense DREAM Act without further delay. Since 2002, the DREAM Act has been a bipartisan measure with bipartisan support, and we are glad to see Republican leaders on the measure speaking up for its passage again today.

A little background: DREAM's lead sponsors in the Senate are Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), and the House bill was authored by Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA).  In the 108th Congress, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 16-3 in favor of the DREAM Act, with support from current Republican Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) (who helped draft the legislation), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), and John Cornyn (R-TX). 

The DREAM Act was also included in comprehensive immigration reform legislation in 2006, after being included as an amendment in the Judiciary Committee by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and 23 Republican Senators voted for that bill (11 of whom are still in the Senate).

Military leaders and experts are also strongly in favor of the DREAM Act.  For example, The FY2010-12 Strategic Plan for the Department of Defense’s Office of the Undersecretary for Personnel and Readiness recommends passage of the DREAM Act, in order to help the military “shape and maintain a mission-ready All Volunteer Force.”  According to Louis Caldera, former Secretary of the Army:

The DREAM Act will materially expand the pool of individuals qualified, ready and willing to serve their country in uniform… I have no doubt many of these enlistees will be among the best soldiers in our Army.
We hope to see more leadership like this from the GOP, as the core of the DREAM Act is about patriotism, hard work, and the American dream -- values that cut across party lines.

Last week, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid received thousands of faxes in support of the DREAM Act. (Did you send one?) Now is the time for Congress to stop playing politics with immigration, step up to the plate, and secure America's future with the extremely popular DREAM Act.
  • By Jackie Mahendra

No comments: