“People ask me, ‘What would you tell the DREAMers and these families in your state?’ I would tell them, you belong here.”
“These are the kids and families who are in our communities, who go to our churches, who are in our grocery stores, who are in our schools, who are our neighbors and our friends. Why would we make them live a dual life? Why would we treat them differently?”
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to demand that Congressional Republicans put aside partisan politics and pass the DREAM Act. Below are the Senator’s remarks as delivered at the press event:
“First of all, thank you to Leaders Pelosi and Schumer, thank you to all of you for being here today, and for your commitment. And let me just say—because people ask me, ‘What would you tell the DREAMers and these families in your state?’ I would tell them, you belong here—because that’s what this is about. We have all met with these kids, these families in our communities, they are not numbers, they are not graphs, they are real people that are contributing to our communities. And I will tell you, every single one of them that I have met with, they are working hard, they are putting themselves through school, they are paying for it, they are going home to help their parents with their jobs, they are committed to doing everything that they can to be an integral part of our communities, and they are not getting recognition for that.
“These kids are phenomenal. The ones that I have met with are too afraid to even tell their story. They are afraid to come forward, they are afraid that one day when they come home from work or school, their parents may not be there. I don’t know about all of you, but I did not grow up that way. These are the kids and families who are in our communities, who go to our churches, who are in our grocery stores, who are in our schools, who are our neighbors and our friends. Why would we make them live a dual life? Why would we treat them differently? What we are doing here today is saying ‘Enough.’ It is time to pass the DREAM Act. It is time to talk about the benefits of immigrants in our community. I am here today because my grandfathers and great grandfathers came to this country. They had the courage to come to this country. My story is no different than anyone else’s. So why do we shut the door behind us? It is time to keep that door wide open. It’s time to pass the DREAM Act.
“And let me say one final thing. There are over 12,000 DREAMers in Nevada alone. And they contribute over $500 million to the state of Nevada and our economy. You have heard the statistics—that if we are to deport them and their families, we are going to lose billions of dollars in this economy. That’s why businesses support it, in my state and across this country, that’s why the farmers, that’s why the cattle ranchers—you name it—across this country support passing comprehensive immigration reform and keeping those families here. But let me throw this out there, because this is a misnomer and this is not a true fact. The DREAMers here are contributing to our economy and they are not depressing wages and they are not taking away others’ jobs. I’m telling you that right now, and we’ve got proof.
“In Nevada alone, not only did a Republican governor pass legislation to allow DREAMers and these families to have driver’s licenses so they can drive to their jobs, we passed a law to allow them to become teachers in our communities because we have a teacher shortage across the country. That’s what this is about. So it’s time for President Trump and those men that I hear on TV to really show heart. And work with us to pass the DREAM Act. It is time to stop the discrimination, the divisive rhetoric, there’s no room for it in the White House. There’s no room for it anywhere, and it is time to move forward.
“I can’t thank you all enough for being here, and thank you to my colleagues across both Houses of Congress. We are going to get this done, and we are not going to stop fighting until we make this happen. So thank you for coming here today.”