Maloney Statement on the DREAM Act
WASHINGTON, DC-- Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney offered the following statement on the House floor during consideration of HR 1751, the DREAM Act:
Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of the American DREAM Act, bipartisan legislation that would provide a path to legal status for undocumented youth who entered the U.S. as children, graduated from U.S. high schools, and attend college or enter the military.
I would like to thank Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer for bringing this important legislation up for a vote on the House floor today. I also would like to thank Rep. Luis Gutierrez, who sponsored this bill in the House and has worked so hard for its passage.
Our nation’s history is rooted in the strength of immigrants. As New Yorkers, my constituents have a special understanding of how America’s melting pot can create a rich tapestry of ethnic, cultural and religious traditions that infuse vitality into the economic and social aspects of our communities.
I strongly believe that by protecting the rights of workers, securing the border, and modernizing our pathway to legal immigration, the hope that we can fix our broken system will become a reality.
Under the DREAM Act, qualified students would be eligible for conditional immigration status upon high school graduation that would then lead, after a period of ten years and a rigorous process, to permanent legal residency if they go to college or serve in the military.
We cannot deny these students the opportunity to pursue education—especially when the alternative is often working illegally. Despite what some opponents of this legislation claim, the DREAM Act would not grant special benefits to qualified students. In fact, students may only access benefits they work for, or pay for.
This bill would allow a limited number of hard working students, who were brought to this country as children, to be rewarded for their success, and in the process, produce thousands of college graduates contributing to economic productivity and eligible youth ready to serve this nation through military service.
I am proud to be a cosponsor of this important legislation and urge my colleagues to support it.