Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-08) today released the following statement on the DREAM Act:
"I understand that this is an important issue to my constituents and all Americans. This proposal is a direct result of the federal government's failure to address our broken immigration system. For far too long this issue has been put off, and that approach to governing is simply unacceptable. Unless and until the federal government formulates coherent policy and a viable, orderly immigration system, the American people will continue to see patchwork efforts to address the consequences of inaction. That is no way to address the challenges we face.
"What we need today is to find a way to educate and retain bright and talented students who apply themselves, work hard and wish to contribute as productive members of our society. That is what makes our country great, and that's why Democrats, Independents, and Republicans all must work together to develop solutions that will make this goal a reality. We must treat with compassion, respect and dignity those people who are currently living here as the federal government works to develop those solutions.
"However, numerous valid concerns have been raised about the provisions of this proposal, including the age limits, enforcement mechanisms, and potential economic impact of the bill. Based on these concerns, coupled with a broken legislative process that has prematurely forced this proposal to the House floor for a vote -- without a single hearing, markup, or opportunity for representatives to offer measures to improve it or address the remaining concerns of the public -- I cannot support this bill. The American people are counting on Congress to work together to get this right; I believe it should be considered only after a methodical gathering of all of the facts, viewpoints and robust congressional consideration of this issue in the appropriate context of the larger immigration reform debate."