Another Crushing Loss, Another Disappointment, But Who’s to Blame?

Ruben Diaz

September 24, 2010

For Immediate Release

September 23, 2010

Another Crushing Loss, Another Disappointment, But Who’s to Blame?

New York State Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz, Chair of the Senate Puerto Rican/Latino Caucus issued the following statement today in regard to the US Senate’s defeat of the DREAM act:

"It’s disturbing to listen to the spin about who’s to blame for the US Senate’s defeat of the DREAM act.  The liberal media is quick to blame the Republicans … but was it really the GOP’s fault?

The Democrats were certainly aware of the probability that if they linked the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell amendment to huge Defense Spending bill – and attached a critical immigration measure (the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2009)  – that the entire bill would be defeated?

Who among us believes that intentionally including the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” provision in any bill would be helpful in getting it passed with or without amendments? 

If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his colleagues in the US Senate truly wanted the DREAM act to pass and truly wanted to fulfill their long-overdue promise to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, why didn’t they just let the DREAM act stand on its own for a vote?  That way, a path to citizenship could have been granted to young undocumented college students.

The Dream Act would have given states the authority to permit eligibility for higher education benefits for undocumented residents who entered the country as children.  It would allow for citizenship for immigrants under age 35 if they go to college for two years or serve in the military, as long as they have come to the U.S. before the age of 16 and been living here for five years.

Instead, political agendas – once again – have maneuvered and jockeyed the DREAM Act into a crushing defeat.  And just weeks away from election day.

I cannot imagine that the defeat of the DREAM act and the impact it will have on millions of Hispanics across the United States will solidify relationships between Hispanic voters and Harry Reid – or any other Democratic leader.

I must once again insist that elected officials in Washington and across the United States end this hypocrisy.  Stop using us - stop using Hispanics and our pain and suffering for your own political benefit. Stop using Hispanics who live and work in the United States of America as your political footballs!  We don’t like to be lied to and we don’t like to be tricked.  You can point your fingers at others, but we know who is to blame.

If you really want to help us, bring the DREAM Act up for a vote on its own. Then we may trust your sincerity."