Bilingual Weekly / Bilingual Weekly
Disappointment. That’s the way President Barack Obama and the two California Senators called today’s vote on the DREAM Act —although a majority, it lacked five votes to reach the 60 YEAHs necessary to pass —effectively eliminating any possibility for a legislation in the near future.
The “The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act,” which was to provide qualified undocumented high school students who wish to attend college or serve in the armed forces an opportunity to adjust to a lawful status and pursue these goals is better known as “The DREAM Act”
“It would have been perfect,” said local Latino and labor activist Jose Angel Picon “…three Republican Senators had joined the effort; but there were five Democrats who went against the Party” Picon meant Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Nebraska’s Ben Nelson, North Carolina’s Kay Hagan and both Montana Senators, Max Baucus and Jon Tester.
California Senator Barbara Boxer said, “it is a sad day for our country when we turn our backs on some of our best and brightest young people who grew up in America, love America and want to serve America. California Senator Dianne Feinstein —a co-sponsor of the The DREAM Act— had noted that “every year, 50,000 undocumented children graduate from our nation’s high schools or receive the equivalent of a secondary degree. From there, they can take one of two paths: they can look at the hopelessness of their situation and get involved in crime, even join street gains; or they can continue their education, find a good job, and give back something to the United States.”
President Obama called it “an incredibly disappointing vote” accusing a minority of Senators prevented the Senate “from doing what most Americans understand is best for the country,” adding the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office had reported the DREAM Act would cut the deficit by $2.2 billion over the next 10 years. “There was simply no reason not to pass this important legislation” he said.
Both Boxer and Obama promised to keep pushing for the legislation. Boxer said “I will not rest until the DREAM Act is the law of the land.” Obama added “my administration will not give up on the DREAM Act, or on the important business of fixing our broken immigration system.”