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FL Members Play Crucial Role in House DREAM Act Victory

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Moment of Truth Soon Upon Sen. LeMieux

Washington – With support from a majority of the Florida congressional delegation, lead by Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R), the DREAM Act passed the House of Representatives in an historic, bipartisan vote last night.  Now, the bill moves to the U.S. Senate, where Sens. George LeMieux (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) have the opportunity to ensure the bill becomes law, for the benefit of Florida and the entire nation.  Nelson is a cosponsor of the legislation, but LeMieux has yet to indicate support. 

The DREAM Act is a bipartisan measure that would enable high-achieving young people – immigrants who have been raised here, have worked hard in school, and then pursue higher education or serve in the military – to achieve the American Dream.  The DREAM Act allows qualified young people who lack legal immigration status to earn their citizenship and give back to the only country they know as home.  

Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, the lead Republican sponsor of the DREAM Act in the House, has long been a leader on immigration reform since joining the U.S. Congress.  Yesterday’s victory caps a career marked by breakthroughs on immigration and contributes to his remarkable legacy.   As is customary, he was joined in this effort by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, who have authored and supported pro-immigrant measures their entire careers.  In addition to these three Republicans, a key group of Democratic Members showed real leadership in voting for the bill: Democratic Representatives Allen Boyd, Corrine Brown, Kathy Castor, Ted Deutch, Alan Grayson, Alcee Hastings, Ron Klein, Suzanne Kosmas, Kendrick Meek, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  All deserve enormous credit for bolstering the nation’s economy, strengthening its military, and doing the right thing.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “there’s a reason I call Lincoln my favorite Republican.  He fights and he delivers.  He has successfully fought for Central American refugees and Haitians, helped save the citizenship program, and fought tirelessly for comprehensive immigration reform.  As DREAM moves to the Senate next week, all eyes shift toward Sen. George LeMieux, who has voiced sympathy for DREAM-eligible youth but so far refused to pledge to vote for this legislation.  LeMieux and his Republican colleagues in the Senate now have a rare opportunity – they can stand up for young people who are Americans in all but paperwork, or slam the door shut on the best and the brightest of the immigrant community.  The DREAM Act is good for the nation’s economy, military, and future workforce.  More importantly, it’s quite simply the right thing to do.”

For more information on the DREAM Act, please visit www.americasvoiceonline.org/DREAM.

To read stories about DREAM-eligible youth, including Florida residents, click here.

America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.