Statement Of Senator Bill Perkins | New York State DREAM Act
“A Dream Deferred Is Not Dead”
As the first sponsor of the DREAM Act in New York State—thanks in singular measure to the unstinting advocacy of the “undocumented” dreamers of the Youth Leadership Council (YLC)—I have taken a few days to reflect upon the events that unfolded late Monday afternoon.
Unquestionably a dream was deferred, despite the fact that a majority of Senators present voted for the DREAM Act; the final vote was 30 for the measure and 29 against. A majority generally rules—in the schoolyard, in the boardroom and at the ballot box—just not in the New York State Senate where a coalition rules.
Langston Hughes asked the question: what happens to a dream deferred?; I ask the same question—does it sag like a heavy load—ready to explode? Perhaps we should search the literal senate floor for raisins dried up by excelsior-enhanced sunlight. Seems to me that the dream is deferred until such time as human beings stop looking at other human beings as “illegals,” “aliens” and other dehumanizing pejoratives—and simply start accepting them as fellow human beings. Ultimately, though, a dream deferred is not dead.
As a marathon runner, my legs keep churning—and you will continue to hear my footfalls as I walk side by side with the dreamers from the YLC and across our City and State. I will not sleep easy, nor may I dream—by the light of the sun or the moon—until this body heeds the call of the dreamers, and the words of Brother King who counseled: “we must help time and realize that the time is always right to do right.”
To those who hear my words, please do your part to help time along by calling Governor Andrew Cuomo at 518.474.8390 and Temporary President Dean Skelos at 518.455.3171 with a message of humanity, compassion and foresight—urging them to include the DREAM Act in the FY 2014-2015 New York State Budget.