Wednesday, October 22, 2014
   
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MIRA Blog

MIRA advocates for the rights and opportunities of immigrants and refugees. In partnership with its members, MIRA advances this mission through policy analysis and advocacy, institutional organizing, training and leadership development, and strategic communications.

Senate Votes Tomorrow on DREAM Act

Sixty votes needed to overcome Republican-led filibuster

Last night Senate majority leader Harry Reid filed for cloture on the DREAM Act and a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

The procedure locked in a vote on the DREAM Act for Saturday morning at around 10 a.m. The DREAM Act would allow undocumented immigrant youth to earn their citizenship by attending college or serving in the military for two years. The bill passed the House of Representatives last week, but faces uncertain prospects in the Senate, where it must obtain 60 votes to overcome a Republican-led filibuster.

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry supports the DREAM Act, but Senator Scott Brown declared his opposition to the bill as recently as Monday. His opposition stands in stark contrast to the endorsement of DREAM by university presidents from Bunker Hill to Harvard and editorial boards from the Boston Globe to the Boston Herald.

The following is a statement from Eva Millona, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition."Hundreds of thousands of innocent youth across this country are waiting on the U.S. Senate to end their legal, social and economic limbo by passing the DREAM Act. The version now before the Senate is the toughest yet devised, with provisions that limit its one-time applicability to youth under the age of 30 who came to this country at age 15 or younger, and who completed their high school studies here. The parents of these children would generally not be eligible for any benefit from this act, and the children themselves would have to pay for college without the benefit of any government assistance."

"Massachusetts has the seventh largest immigrant population in the nation, with one million foreign-born residents," Millona continued. "This week, the census bureau release information that confirms the diversity and vitality of that population, which represents 17 % of our workforce and has helped keep our economy among the nation's strongest in these difficult economic times. The youth that this bill serves would only further bolster our communities and our economy. As the Congressional Budget Office has shown, these youth would contribute billions in additional tax receipts to our states and our nation, if only we give them a chance. We hope that Senator Brown and others who have been opposed to DREAM will reconsider their position, allowing these youth to become a full part of the only country they know as home."

MIRA urges everyone to contact the Senate at the following numbers:

Contact YOUR Senator (these lines patch you directly to your state senator)
Spanish: 866-961-4293
English: 866-996-5161

Contact a TARGET Senator (this line randomly routes to senators who need to hear from voters)
Spanish 866-956-3902
English: 866-587-6101

Watch the Senate Debate LIVE Saturday starting at 10:00AM:

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