Washington D.C. - The DREAM Act failed to achieve the 60 votes necessary to cut off debate in the United States Senate, effectively killing the legislation for this session of Congress. The following is a statement from Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum and Chair of the Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign.
“Today our movement felt the sting of a temporary legislative setback, but we have not been defeated. The courage and commitment of undocumented young people and their families were temporarily stymied by the cowardice of a Republican filibuster. We won majorities in the House and Senate, we generated hundreds of thousands of calls, and the DREAMers who brought us to this point have made DREAMers out of all of us.
We thank those who did the right thing and voted for DREAM. You had our back and we’ll have yours. But for the majority of Republicans and the handful of Democrats who voted against the best and the brightest of the Latino, Asian and immigrant communities, we know who you are, and we will never forget. With our partners, we will work to ensure that your vote against DREAM will be remembered as long as you are in politics. Many of you have expressed your sympathy for the DREAMers. But today we did not need or want sympathy. We needed votes. If you didn’t vote for us, don’t expect us to vote for you. This movement mobilized as never before. Tens of thousands of DREAMers came to D.C. to make their case and our campaign generated millions of calls and faxes into Congress, and hundreds of events in every state. What is clear is that we will continue to grow in strength, and will continue working until justice is done. This movement is more powerful than ever, 2012 is just around the corner, and we aren’t going away.
This builds on the unprecedented mobilization of immigrant voters in the 2010 election, which resulted in anti-immigrant candidates being defeated and the Democrats maintaining control of the Senate. This work stands on the foundation of years of fighting, organizing, mobilizing and educating which has created unprecedented political power and policy influence.
We may not have won this battle, but when it comes to winning the war between mass deportation and earned citizenship, it’s a not a matter of if we win, but when.
What is so striking about today’s setback is not that DREAM didn’t achieve the 60 votes to move past the shameful Republican-led filibuster, but that those who blocked it don’t know that they’ve already lost. This movement is more powerful than ever and will continue to build strength until we win.
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