September 21, 2010
Dear Senate Colleague:
I am writing to respectfully urge you to take all steps necessary to ensure the DREAM Act, S. 729, is brought up as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, S.3454, this week. Specifically, I ask that you support both the motion to proceed to the Defense bill and the DREAM Act amendment, as well as passage of the DREAM Act amendment.
As you know, the DREAM Act is a narrow, common sense piece of legislation that would help hundreds of thousands of talented and deserving immigrant students achieve their fullest potential by earning a college degree or enlisting to serve in the U.S. armed services. These young people are patriots and are Americans in every way except on paper. Brought to the U.S. at a young age, this is the only country they have ever known. From their families and friends to their mentors, coaches and teachers, Americans have already invested much to ensure the success of these kids. In return, they have stayed out of trouble against all odds and excelled beyond expectations--graduating high school with high honors and high hopes to contribute to and serve the United States to the fullest of their hard-earned abilities.
I believe there are at least 218 votes in the House to pass the DREAM Act. President Obama and the Pentagon have voiced their strong support for including the DREAM Act within the National Defense Authorization Act. An affirmative vote in the Senate would bring these exceptional young people one step closer toward fulfilling their dreams. The only thing standing in the way of giving these kids a fighting chance in adulthood is an affirmative vote in the Senate on the DREAM Act. We have already begun to hear the excuses from those who would wish our immigration, high school drop-out and military recruitment challenges away, rather than lead our nation to solve the problems we were sent to Washington to solve. We have heard the cynical political talk of naysayers--who selfishly benefit from inaction--so often we could script it ourselves. The only way our country, our military and our economy will benefit from all these students have to offer is if you vote to support them.
Now is the time to pass the DREAM Act. Please vote to proceed to the National Defense Authorization Act, and, when further votes are called on the DREAM amendment, I urge you to vote yes.
Thank you for your consideration.
Luis V. Gutierrez
Member of Congress