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No More Excuses—Moment of Truth Tomorrow for Senate Republicans on DREAM

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Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put the DREAM Act on the Senate floor and filed cloture on the bill, setting up a Saturday vote that will determine whether the DREAM Act becomes law this year, and whether thousands of bright and talented young people who grew up in America can get on a path to legal status and achieve their dreams — like, for instance, Alina, a young Republican who dreams of serving in our nation’s military. This ad ran in today’s edition of Politico and CQ Today:

For months, Republican Senators have been trying to avoid this moment, offering up excuse after excuse about why now is not the right time for a on the DREAM Act.  Now, the moment of truth is here, and they will need to decide if they stand on the side of the majority of Americans, these young leaders, and Latino voters, or on the side of a small but vocal band of nativists and their darker view of America

Today, America’s Voice is releasing a new report dissecting some of the most popular excuses Republican Senators have offered as reasons to oppose DREAM.  These include gems like:

  • “The DREAM Act can’t pass, and the Democrats are playing politics by bringing it up.”

  •  “The DREAM Act requirements are too broad.”

  •  “We should address DREAM only as part of comprehensive immigration reform.”

The new report ticks through the actual facts and exposes why these Republican excuses to oppose DREAM are just that: excuses.

For example, the DREAM Act did pass the House on a bipartisan basis.  It has the potential to pass the Senate if Republican senators would stop playing politics with young people’s lives.  The DREAM Act is not a broad program.  It has been further limited with the goal of securing Republican votes.  And while we all agree comprehensive immigration reform is needed, it was Republican senators who blocked progress on comprehensive reform earlier this year.  Surely, no one can seriously argue that talented young people who had no role in the decision to come to this country should be held hostage to partisan paralysis on broader immigration reform.    

The fact is, the DREAM Act has long been a bipartisan bill and is supported by a long tradition of Conservative leaders and voters across party lines.  Fifteen current Republican senators have voted for the DREAM Act on its own or as part of comprehensive immigration reform over the past seven years.  The bill was originally drafted by conservative Republican Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), along with current champion Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL).  Currently, Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Bob Bennett (R-UT) have already indicated that they plan to support the DREAM Act, and a majority of Democrats are on record supporting the bill.  Last week, the House passed its version of the legislation with support from eight Republicans.  The only thing standing in the way of the DREAM Act becoming law is a handful of Republican votes in the Senate.   

Voters are tired of the endless excuses, and the moment of truth is here: on Saturday, everyone will know where each and every Senator stands on the fate of these talented young people.

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