Today, the United States Senate had the opportunity to join the House of Representatives in passing an important piece of immigration reform and a common sense solution that would allow many young people to contribute to the economy and give back to the country they call home.
Support for the DREAM Act has only gained momentum since its inception more than a decade ago. There is a growing list of labor, youth, immigration and civil rights advocates, who saw this legislation's passage as a simple way to provide an opportunity to the most patriotic and hardest working young people in the US.
Unfortunately, marred in procedural bickering and fear of political backlash, the Senate voted against the cloture vote on the DREAM Act: 55-41.
The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA) applauds the 55 Senators who, as described by Senator Durbin of Illinois, not only voted in support but acted with "political courage". This includes 3 Republicans: Senators Bennett of Utah, Lugar of Indiana & Murkowski of Alaska.
The vote today reminds us of the ongoing organizing we must do and the difficult political climate ahead. As we look forward to the 2012 elections, we will remember those who voted against us and will give new life to phrase "holding elected officials accountable".
Although disappointed about the outcome of the vote, I stand tall with hope truly inspired by the resiliency of the DREAMers and undocumented youth across this country. Thank you for igniting a movement for change and social justice.
We got here today because of you and I vow (with APALA's leadership joining me) to fight alongside your bold, visionary & transformative leadership!
Can't Stop! Won't Stop!
Kaya natin! Si se puede! Yes, we can!