December 18, 2010
Cynthia Leonor Garza
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On Senate Failure To Pass DREAM Act
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) would create a pathway to legal status for qualified students who came to the United States before the age of 16, if they complete at least two years of college or military service.
WASHINGTON—We are greatly disappointed that the U.S. Senate today voted against allowing the DREAM Act to come to the floor for debate and a vote. Hard-working students should not be penalized for circumstances beyond their control, and should not be denied the opportunity to pursue a college degree and a chance to become productive members of our society.
We thank Sen. Richard Durbin and Majority Leader Harry Reid for their efforts in the Senate, and we applaud the House of Representatives for putting children first and passing this important piece of legislation last week. We also applaud the courageous students across the country who have fought for this legislation. The AFT will continue to champion the DREAM Act in the future. It is a practical solution that upholds the best of our shared American values.
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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.