Gutiérrez Reacts to Senate Introduction of New DREAM Act
Washington, DC – On Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced a new version of the DREAM Act (an acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors). The President has pledged, through a spokesperson, to fight this bipartisan legislation that would allow immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to live and work here legally if they meet certain criteria. This happens as the DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program that provides temporary deportation relief for Dreamers and allows them to work legally) is under attack by Republican leaders and it is clear the President and his team are unlikely to defend it. This could make the 800,000 people who would qualify for the DREAM Act and who currently have DACA vulnerable to deportation, especially because they have registered with federal authorities as part of the program.
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) issued a statement in reaction to the bill introduction in the Senate. Rep. Gutiérrez is in his 13th term representing the Fourth District of Illinois. He is a Member of the Judiciary Committee and is the Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
I support this measure to spare Dreamers from deportation because this is the country in which they live, the country to which they are loyal, and they are American in every way except for a piece of paper that our government could and should issue to them allowing them to stay. I will do everything in my power to work toward a solution in the House to protect Dreamers, including those with DACA.
We will keep fighting in Congress, in the courts, and using every peaceful means available to us in our communities to stop the mass deportation of immigrants. The Dreamers occupy a special place in our movement to make immigration legal again because of their courage and determination and because they represent the future of America and immigration to America. Dreamers and their families should know that there are lawmakers, leaders, clergy, and communities that are fighting for them and who will join them as they fight for other immigrants, including their parents, who deserve to live in the U.S.
The President has said he opposes bipartisan legislation to allow the Dreamers to live here, which is a shameful statement to make, but one that is consistent with his determined effort to go down in history as the most anti-immigrant and anti-immigration American president. He is going to say what he is going to say, but that does not dissuade us. We have to keep fighting for what is right, what is just, and what the majority of Americans say they want, which is a legal immigration system that works, a way for those who have lived here or grown up here for years to earn legal status, and a system going forward that makes sure that everyone is playing by a clear set of rules that benefit America in the 21st century.
Note: The Congressman issued a call to action during a floor speech on Wednesday (text and video: https://bit.ly/2tf5sCE | Facebook video: https://bit.ly/2vFp4jV) asking immigrants and allies to join him in the fight to protect immigrants with DACA and others at risk of deportation. In Chicago on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 pm CT, the Congressman is convening a community strategy meeting at Lincoln United Methodist Church (2242 S. Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60608).
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