For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Alma Castrejon (424) 260-3751
Carlos Amador (818) 732-0501
IN THE CURRENT DIVISIVE POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT ON IMMIGRATION, OUR DREAMS ARE NOT FOR POLITICAL GAIN
Undocumented students respond to Senators Reid, Durbin and Menendez’ re-introduction of the DREAM Act
Los Angeles, CA – In response to this this morning’s re-introduction in the Senate of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act by Senators Reid, Durbin and Menendez, undocumented students express their concerns over politicians using the DREAM Act as political leverage.
We want to thank Senators Reid, Durbin, Menendez, and the other 30 Senators, who are in support of undocumented students in the 112th Congress. Their leadership in previous years has given hope to many undocumented youth.
However, we are also concerned about the current anti-immigrant climate in Congress. The possibility of an immigrant friendly bill passing at this time is slim. Detrimental enforcement programs such as 287(g) and Secure Communities, along with Arizona copy-cat bills, continue to pass everyday. In an earlier statement, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hinted at the possibility of attaching the DREAM Act to legislation that could soon pass through the House requiring employers to use E-Verify. Undocumented students will not support attaching the DREAM Act to enforcement legislation that could hurt our communities.
The DREAM Act passed the House last year under a Democratic majority, but it is not expected to pass this time around under Republican control in the House. With the election cycle underway, we feel that the DREAM Act and other immigration bills are being used by both parties for political gain.
As students we continue to be active and hopeful, but remain aware of our political realities. We will be using this as an opportunity to engage more youth in our movement. We also urge President Obama to use his power to issue an executive order to stop the deportations of DREAM Act-eligible youth and end the separation of immigrant families. While Congress continues to gamble with our futures, we need action now.
Dream Team Los Angeles (DTLA) is an autonomous group of students and community members working toward the empowerment of immigrant youth and the passage of the DREAM Act. DTLA is led by undocumented students in Los Angeles who are undocumented and unafraid and have been organizing locally and nationally for the legalization of undocumented youth.