A video recording of the press conference is available here.
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Harminder Saini, a DREAMer enlisted in the U.S. Army, House Members, and advocates for a press conference to urge Congress to immediately pass the bipartisan DREAM Act. Nearly 900 DREAMers are currently serving in the U.S. military and some could be forced to leave unless Congress passes the bipartisan DREAM Act into law.
“DREAMers are American in every way—just not on paper. Every day, nearly 900 of them serve in our nation’s armed forces. Yet their patriotism is rejected by a Commander-in-Chief who does not want to recognize their loyalty and service by granting them citizenship in the nation they serve,” said Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.). “I want DREAMers to know that they belong here, and that I am working to make sure that Congress is honoring their contributions to their communities as well as their service and sacrifice to our nation. These brave men and women who want nothing more than to serve our country should not be turned away.”
“Right now, there are more than 800 DREAMers serving in the U.S. military or who have signed contracts with the military and are awaiting basic training. These brave men and women have raised their hand to serve—and lay down their lives if necessary—for the only country they know. If Congress fails to pass the Dream Act, these young people could be forced to leave the military and be placed at risk of deportation. We must get this done before the holidays,” said Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) said, “Our service members may come from different places and different backgrounds, but they are all here for the same reason: to serve our nation. Yet, some of our leaders – including the man who sits in the Oval Office – want to deport our military DREAMers from the very same nation they risk their lives to defend. That’s downright shameful. I will continue to do everything I can to make sure Congress passes the Dream Act this year – we simply can’t afford to stall on this any longer.”
Harminder Saini, DREAMer enlisted in the U.S. Army said, “I arrived in the United States at the age of six. For the past 18 years, I have called New York City my home and considered myself just as American as the rest of my peers. Sadly, I discovered that I was undocumented during my high school years. Despite the obstacles and challenges that I have faced due to my immigration status, I have been able to go to college, contribute back to my community, and enlist in the U.S. Army. I enlisted in the military because I want to give back to the country that has provided me with countless opportunities. As a fluent Punjabi speaker, I feel that my linguistic and cultural skills would be significant assets to the military. If Congress does not pass the Dream Act by the end of this year, I could lose my DACA protective status and not be able to contribute to the military with my skills.”