Saturday, December 18, 2010

Defeat of DREAM Act Gives Hope for True Immigration Reform in New Congress

/PRNewswire/ -- Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), called the defeat of the DREAM Act amnesty "an important victory for the American people in their long-standing quest to achieve immigration reform that serves the public interest." Today's procedural vote in the Senate effectively blocks the lame duck 111th Congress from granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) attempted to use the lame duck session to approve a broad amnesty that is opposed by the majority of American voters. With more than 20 percent of its members no longer accountable to the American people, the House approved the DREAM Act amnesty earlier this month with no hearings, little debate, and no opportunity for members to offer amendments. In the Senate, Majority Leader Reid introduced multiple versions of the bill in a desperate attempt to gain votes while employing every parliamentary maneuver possible to defy the will of the American people.

"FAIR is heartened that senators rejected this cynical attempt by the congressional leadership to take advantage of the lame duck session to pass legislation that lacked public support in during the preceding 22 months," said Stein.

The DREAM Act would have granted amnesty to an estimated 2.1 million illegal aliens who could meet minimal eligibility requirements. Beneficiaries would have been eligible for government loans and assistance to pursue post-secondary education. According to the Congressional Budget Office, passage of the DREAM Act would have added significantly to the federal deficit once beneficiaries became legal permanent residents.

While the DREAM Act offered generous benefits to illegal aliens, the legislation offered nothing to the American people except greater competition for jobs, educational opportunities, and increased public costs. The bill included no provisions designed to improve enforcement of American immigration laws.

"The defeat of this unwarranted and expensive amnesty bill clears the way for meaningful efforts to implement true immigration reform in the new Congress," Stein stated. "With the DREAM Act and other amnesty proposals off the table, the 112th Congress will have an opportunity implement immigration reforms that place the interests and concerns of the American people ahead of those of illegal aliens.

"As the 112th Congress approaches, there is broad public and bipartisan consensus about many long overdue immigration policy reforms. Most importantly, the new Congress must ensure that our nation's borders are secure and that laws against illegal aliens living and working in the United States are enforced. Implementing these reforms would benefit American workers and taxpayers, and enhance our national security. The American people see no reason why these needed reforms should be held hostage to granting amnesty to the people who broke our laws," said Stein.

"We congratulate the 41 members of the Senate who blocked this shameful attempt by the leadership to use dozens of defeated and retiring members of Congress to pass harmful legislation that the American people clearly oppose," concluded Stein.

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