In anticipation of the upcoming Congressional debate on the DREAM Act, Chairman Tim Kaine released the following statement:
The DREAM Act is based on two very simple principles: that children brought up in this country should not be penalized for the actions of their parents and that our country is made stronger by hard-working immigrants who are willing to do what it takes to build a better life in America in a way that makes our country both stronger and more secure. In keeping with those principles, the DREAM Act would create a path to citizenship for undocumented young people who could obtain legal status through service in the American armed forces or by completing at least two years of college – steps that would immediately strengthen our nation’s military and economy.
Passage of the DREAM Act is one of the Department of Defense’s official goals to help maintain a ‘mission-ready, all-volunteer force.’ Throughout the generations, immigrants who have been drawn to our country by the American spirit have helped our country to thrive. Today, the President, the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Education, and leaders on both sides of the aisle agree that this bill would help make America safer and more prosperous by tapping into the energy of a new generation of young immigrants.
To that end, I urge Republicans in Congress to drop their partisan obstruction of this bill and join with Democrats to pass the DREAM Act. This bill has received the support of Republicans in the past – including the votes of a number of sitting Congressional Republicans – and there is no reason it should not receive bipartisan support today.