Kerry: Roadblock Republicans Stop Senate Passage of DREAM Act
Senator John Kerry today issued the following statement after Senate Republicans blocked passage of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The DREAM Act had aimed to provide a path to citizenship for hard-working immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as young children who would like to pursue higher education or military service.
"Senate Republicans today put a roadblock in front of thousands of hard-working kids in Massachusetts who want to go into the military or work their way through college. These young people are caught in the crossfire of a broken immigration system. Great kids like Marie in West Roxbury, Mario in Chelsea and Patricia in Everett are the reason we need to open the doors of opportunity for hard-working young people who play by the rules and want to contribute to the country they love.
"Just like many of their classmates who are U.S. citizens, Marie, Mario, and Patricia just want to work towards the American dream of self-reliance. But they're denied the opportunity to attend college or serve in our military because they must remain in the shadows and on the edges of our country. Many of these kids have spent nearly their entire lives in America. These would-be students and soldiers are American in every way except their immigration status.
"It is long past the time to empower these young people who have spent most of their lives in the United States, who believe in our country and who have stayed out of trouble, to have a chance at the best their country has to offer. There is nothing more inseparable from the American dream than military and service and a college education. That is why we must remove these Republican roadblocks and pass the DREAM Act without further delay."
Massachusetts colleges and universities stand to gain millions of dollars if these students are given the opportunity to attend. A recent study by the Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation projects that our state would receive $2.5 million by 2009. It would also help greatly expand the pool of skilled workers in Massachusetts, ensuring that our state remain economically competitive here at home and abroad. Senator Kerry is disappointed that this common sense, fair legislation got caught in the politics of immigration reform but stays committed to the ideals of the DREAM Act and will continue to work with his colleagues to help these children live the American dream.