Washington, DC – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the following statement on a hearing held today in the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. Bennet is an original cosponsor of the narrowly tailored bill, which was introduced by Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and which would give undocumented students a chance to earn legal status if they came here as children, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, and complete two years of college or military service in good standing.
“It was a great disappointment last fall when the DREAM Act was blocked by a minority of Senators who used a procedural tactic despite receiving a majority of votes in the Senate.
“We have learned from struggles throughout our history that we cannot give up. If we give up, failure will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. We all stand on the shoulders of people who have come before us, who have fought for rights that seemed unimaginable at the time they were fighting for them.
“Now we begin anew our efforts to pass the DREAM Act, a commonsense bill I came to understand as superintendent of Denver Public Schools. I met kids who had lived in Denver since they were six months or a year old. The only country they knew as home was America. All they asked for was an opportunity to excel in college, or to serve our country in a branch of our military, or to get a job to support their family.
“Senator Durbin has been an extraordinary leader on this issue for a very long time and I commend his efforts. I look forward to working with him to eventually pass the DREAM Act. At a critical time for our economy, when we need qualified workers able to compete in the 21st century economy, we cannot turn away hard-working kids who have grown up calling our country home. Taxpayers have already invested in the education of these kids. It makes sense to allow them to succeed and contribute to our economy.”
Bennet also attended a reception for DREAM Act students hosted by Sen. Durbin. Click here to see his comments at the event.