Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today expressed her regret that the Senate failed to move forward with consideration of the DREAM Act. The measure did not receive the 60 votes needed to proceed to the bill.
The DREAM Act was introduced by Senators Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.). Senator Feinstein is an original co-sponsor of the bill.
The following is a statement from Senator Feinstein:
“I deeply regret that the Senate did not vote to consider the DREAM Act.
The DREAM Act holds great promise for youngsters who came to the United States as children. Many of these young people know no other country as their own. And I believe we should give them a chance to succeed.
These young adults were brought to this country as undocumented children many years ago, and they have stayed in school and out of trouble. They are dedicated to attending college or serving in our nation’s military.
We must do all we can to encourage these hard working young people to get a good education to fulfill the American Dream. And the DREAM Act does just that.
It would permit students to become permanent residents if they came here as children, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, and attend college or enlist in the military for at least two years.
Let me tell you about one college student in California, Nayely Arreola, who would benefit from the DREAM Act.
Nayely came to the United States with her parents and a younger brother in 1986. Her father began working in the California’s agriculture fields. The family made their home here, working hard to succeed. She has three other siblings age 15 and younger, who are all United States citizens.
Nayely is an excellent student. She was the first member of her family to graduate from high school, and today she attends Fresno Pacific University on full academic scholarship. Demonstrating her student leadership, Nayely has been elected President of her class.
However, she and her family were the victims of a negligent immigration attorney who has since been disbarred. But because of these shoddy legal services, her status remains in limbo.
Nayely has demonstrated a strong commitment to the ideals of citizenship in this country. She has worked hard to achieve her full potential both in her academic endeavors and through her dedication to community service.
I believe it is in our nation’s interest to provide talented students like Nayely Arreola the incentive to take the path toward being a responsible and law-abiding member of our society.
I fear the alternative would not only dim the hopes of a gifted youth, it would diminish our potential as a compassionate society.”