NCLR Calls Senate “DREAM Act” Vote a Moral and Political Travesty

December 18, 2010

Washington, DC—NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, today called the U.S. Senate’s rejection of the “DREAM Act” “a moral and political travesty” for the Latino community and our country. The bill, which received long-awaited action in both the House of Representatives and Senate during the “lame duck” session, failed on a procedural vote 55–41.

“Today’s vote is both difficult to endure and difficult to understand. It is hard to endure because so many talented young people across the country were pinning their hopes and dreams on this vote. How long will we make them wait for their chance at the American Dream and for our country to benefit from their willingness to contribute and serve our nation?” stated Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO.

“It is also hard to understand. The Republican Party had a golden opportunity to mend its relationship with Latinos. There is overwhelming support for this modest, sensible legislation. Yet they chose process over principle and politics over progress. Their stand to block action on arcane procedural grounds will soon be forgotten, but their rejection of our community will long be remembered,” continued Murguía.

“Yet the Latino community and the ‘DREAM Act’ students who worked tirelessly for months should also be comforted by the leadership and courage of many senators today. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV), along with Senators Dick Durbin (D–IL) and Bob Menendez (D–NJ) led the fight for today’s long-awaited vote. Senators Bob Bennett (R–UT), Richard Lugar (R–IN), and Lisa Murkowski (R–AK) courageously chose principle over procedure and broke with their party to vote for the bill,” noted Murguía.

“The Republicans and Democrats who voted against this bill and the future of these young people should know they did so in full view of the Latino community. Both Univision and Telemundo—at great expense—joined C-SPAN to cover the vote live. It is now crystal clear to Latinos in this great nation who stood with them and who did not,” concluded Murguía.

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