WASHINGTON, June 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund issued the following statement regarding S.952, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2011:
Today, the Senate held its first-ever hearing on the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2011. The NALEO Educational Fund commends Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin for his continued leadership and commitment to passing the DREAM Act.
As an organization that works with Latino policymakers across the country, many of them school board members, our constituents understand firsthand the contributions that immigrant students are making to the civic life of their communities and the economic vitality of our nation. These children have grown up in our communities and our public education system has invested in their elementary and secondary education. The NALEO Educational Fund supports the DREAM Act because we believe that providing deserving students with the opportunity to gain legal status by pursuing a college education or serving in our armed forces will contribute to our nation's prosperity.
The NALEO Educational Fund submitted testimony in support of S.952, (testimony), which outlines the merits of the legislation and its bipartisan and national support. Highlights from the NALEO Educational Fund testimony include:
"While the DREAM Act will not solve all of our immigration issues, everyone should be able to agree that creating opportunities for the next generation of leaders is something we can and should do now. At the state level there is already growing national consensus in support of the DREAM Act, as several states have recently passed state-based versions of the legislation. States have recognized that the DREAM Act would help break the cycle of poverty, underemployment and insecurity that undocumented immigrants endure. It would also reward good behavior by young people who have worked hard and remained in school, despite their challenging circumstances. Unless we pass the DREAM Act, these children will continue to live in the shadows of the country they love where they will face exploitation and abuse in an underground economy – unable to contribute their talents to improving our nation."
"The DREAM Act has wide bipartisan support and is a legislative priority for the Latino electorate. Passage of the DREAM Act will help strengthen our military, meet educational goals for our nation and provide a firm but fair way to address the immigration situation of children brought to the United States at a young age so that the nation can dedicate their enforcement resources to those who pose a threat to our country. There is no reason why it should not receive that same kind of bipartisan support today that it has received in the past. The NALEO Educational Fund urges passage of the DREAM Act. Thank you for your consideration of our views."
About NALEO Educational Fund
The NALEO Educational Fund is the nation's leading non-partisan, non-profit organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.
Contact: Gloria Montano Greene, 202-546-2536
Amanda Bosquez, (202) 587-4931
SOURCE NALEO Educational Fund