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White House on CHC Meeting: Congress Should Approve DREAM Before Adjourning

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Here’s a readout from the President’s meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus today, in which a strong consensus formed that Congress should approve the targeted, bipartisan DREAM Act before adjourning:


Office of the Press Secretary



November 16, 2010

Readout of the President’s Meeting with Representatives of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Today

In an Oval Office meeting today, the President and leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, U.S. Representative Nydia Velazquez of New York, and U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez of Illinois – discussed the options on immigration reform immediately facing the Congress.  He thanked them for their constant efforts on this issue.  The President and the CHC leaders believe that, before adjourning, Congress should approve the DREAM Act.  This legislation has traditionally enjoyed support from Democratic and Republican lawmakers and would give young people who were brought as minors to the United States by their parents the opportunity to earn their citizenship by pursuing a college degree or through military service. ‪

The President reiterated his support for fixing the broken immigration system and urged the CHC leaders to work to restore the bipartisan coalition backing comprehensive immigration reform.  The President repeated his hope that, with the election season’s pressures past, Congressional Republicans would work with their Democratic colleagues not only to strengthen security at the nation’s borders, but also to restore responsibility and accountability to what everyone agrees is a broken immigration system.  The President reiterated his strong support for bipartisan Congressional action on immigration reform at the earliest opportunity, noting that the American people expect both parties to work together to tackle the challenges confronting our nation.

Immediately following the meeting, Representative Luis Gutierrez released an enthusiasic statement in support of DREAM:

When I met with the President today, I told him that we need him to join us in fighting for the DREAM Act.  I told the President we need him now and that we cannot waste another day and must push for a DREAM Act vote in the House and Senate during the lame-duck.  It is not the time to hesitate or be unclear about what we are fighting for.  We need the DREAM Act.  I see it as a down payment on comprehensive reform and we will continue working towards comprehensive immigration reform today, tomorrow, and until it passes.  But I will not pass up the chance to save a million or more children who grew up in the U.S., who know no other country, and who are threatened with deportation unless we act.