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Dec-17-2010 15:41printcomments

U.S. Senate to Vote on DREAM Act Saturday

Oregon Immigrant Rights Coalition urges bi-partisan passage of crucial legislation.

Immigrants working a farm field
Photo by Bonnie King

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filed a cloture motion on the DREAM Act setting up a vote for Saturday Morning.

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act is bipartisan legislation that will create a path to citizenship for immigrants who entered the United States undocumented as children under the age of 16 and have lived in America for at least five years, obtained a high school or General Education Development diploma and have demonstrated good moral character.

Over the last month, CAUSA and our allies around Oregon have been working tirelessly to mobilize our supporters to contact the offices of Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR). And although Senator Wyden may possibly miss the vote on Saturday due to surgery, CAUSA continues to mobilize it's supporters and allies to call both Oregon Senators to vote in favor of passage of this crucial legislation.

On Wednesday, students, members of Latinos Unidos Siempre and other community organizations rallied for passage of the DREAM Act at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem. Those present called on all U.S. Senators to vote "Yes" on DREAM legislation which would make it possible for children of undocumented immigrants to realize their potential and contribute to the country they have grown up in.

"We urge all members of the U.S. Senate regardless of political party to support this common sense legislation", said Francisco Lopez, Executive Director of CAUSA. "It is critical that those who were brought to the U.S. as children and who have grown up and been educated in the American education system can have a chance to realize the American Dream.

Although the vote is expected to be close in the Senate, CAUSA expects every Senator to act with compassion for the undocumented children who came to the United States by no fault of their own and to take into account the economic impact of their vote.

"We also call on Senators to act with compassion in taking their vote tomorrow", Lopez added. "They must vote with the nation's struggling economy in mind as this legislation would reduce the federal deficit."

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced in a report released earlier this month that the DREAM Act would cut the federal deficit by $1.4 billion and increase government revenues by $2.3 billion over the next decade. Allowing immigrant students to continue their education and achieve their potential will boost the economy and result in higher tax revenues.

The vote on the DREAM Act is expected sometime around 10:00 a.m. EST on Saturday.


Source: CAUSA, Oregon's Immigrant Rights Coalition; the largest Latino and Latina civil and human rights and advocacy organization in the Pacific Northwest.

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