Los Angeles – The U.S. Senate closed the door shut for now on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (the DREAM Act) failing to garner the 60 votes required to avoid a filibuster. The following are statements by Angelica Salas, Executive Director at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles (CHIRLA), and Maria Rodriguez, coordinator for the California DREAM Network, a project of CHIRLA, comment below.
Angelica Salas comments:
“This is a dark day in America. The Senate, as stewards of our nation’s economic destiny, cultural diversity, and military might, has chosen to hide behind cowardly excuses and partisanship and failed the American public and the thousands upon thousands of bright, dedicated, and hard-working young Americans-to-be. The Senate has voted down the DREAM Act once again but the immigrant community will not compromise its future to feeble leadership once again. We will strengthen our voter engagement programs and we will focus our attention on 2012.
Passage of the DREAM Act would have meant and end to nights and days of uncertainty, pain, and constant rejection of a more humane reality for each of these young men and women and their families. Today, the Senate has given up on bright, promising young people like: Dalia, 19, who wants to be a psychologist and work with autistic children; Marcos, 20, who is studying to be a neuroscientist; Selene, 18, who wants to practice family law; Oscar, 21, who sees nursing as a way to care for others; and, Eder, 22, who is gearing up to be the best chemical engineer in his field.
The Senate should be ashamed for failing to listen to the plight of a whole nation that believes in justice, fairness, and a second chance. But let there be no doubt about it: we will come back again and again until our inhumane and unjust laws cease from keeping millions from drowning in a sea of darkness and anonymity.”
Maria Rodriguez comments:
“Today, the Senate made a huge mistake. It failed to recognize the contributions of its own young people, its own creation. Today, democracy failed all of us because everything we have done to urge the passage of the DREAM act, we did it by the book. All the visiting of the legislators, the emails, the letters, the phone calls, the public demonstrations, and the chants that included “tell me what America looks like”, did not reach the ears and the hearts of the Senate. Today democracy lost and politics won. The future doctors, lawyers, astronauts, chefs, and attorneys waiting for this vote to become a reality will continue to remain in the shadow and afraid to show America their beauty and skills.”