Bennet calls on Senate to pass DREAM Act, says it’s a ‘matter of conscience’

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet called on his colleagues to pass the DREAM Act as the Senate assembled for voting Wednesday afternoon. Bennet argued that since the government has failed for more than a decade to pass comprehensive immigration reform, it must take a piecemeal approach and pass proposals that can’t wait. Bennet noted that he joined the Senate in voting in favor of spending $600 million to send new guardsman and unmanned guard drones to patrol the southern border of the country to prevent illegal crossings and drug smuggling. He said the bipartisan DREAM Act is another step to stem problems that can’t wait.

The Act would grant citizenship to undocumented young people who have grown up in the United States provided they complete two years of university and / or military service. Bennet believes the DREAM Act would translate to an economic and defense boon for the country.

“I know many of my colleagues are still undecided on whether to support the bill. Some have supported the DREAM Act in the past only to move away from it in the face of heated rhetoric around the issue of immigration. I ask that before any of you make a final decision that you step back and take a fresh look at the facts and the realities facing these youth. Support for the DREAM Act is not only a matter of conscience for me since it’s the right thing to do; it’s also a practical solution. Continue delay is an irresponsible waste.

“We owe it to the tax payers who have invested in these youth, the teachers who have fostered their development and our military who can benefit from the energy of these youth to move forward on the DREAM Act. “

“When I was superintendent of Denver Public Schools, I saw the potential of some of our best and brightest students cut short, punished for the actions of others. These were kids who had grown up in our school system and who proudly call our country home.  A child who has excelled in the classroom should have the opportunity to attend college and then be a productive taxpaying citizen.  A child whose only home is our country should have the opportunity to serve our nation in the military. 
“Instead of punishing these kids, we should reward them for working hard.  And our nation will be rewarded with a stronger work force and a stronger economy. It’s time for Washington to stop playing political games and work to restore common sense to our immigration system.”

Got a tip? Freelance story pitch? Send us an e-mail. Follow The Colorado Independent on Twitter.