Pelosi Remarks at Press Conference Urging Passage of the DREAM Act
Contact: Taylor Griffin, 202-226-7616
Sacramento, CA – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Congressman Jerry McNerney, Congressman Ami Bera, DREAMers and community members for a press conference calling for immediate passage of the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act would create a path for DREAMers to gain lawful permanent residence and American citizenship. Below are the Leader’s remarks:
Leader Pelosi. Good afternoon, everyone! Thank you, all. Good afternoon, everyone. It’s an honor to be here with each and every one of you at the invitation of a great Member of Congress. Thank you for sending Doris Matsui to the Congress of the United States!
She has taught us a lot in the Congress – about immigration and what it means to America that every immigrant who comes here makes America more American. With hopes, dreams, aspiration and courage to make the future better for their families.
She has seen America through the families of people that she knows firsthand [are capable of] some bad things – when it came to Japanese-American internment. And this action on the part of some to send the DREAMers back – whatever that means – is just another manifestation of that aspect of America that we put behind us. And then they came for me. Who’s next?
The DREAM Act, our colleague Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard has introduced the DREAM Act and we want a clean, bipartisan DREAM Act passed. That would be really important to our DREAMers but it’s also important to our country. Who are we as a country that we would not recognize we would be enhanced, invigorated, exhilarated, by our DREAMers to our country. And as Congresswoman Matsui said, this is just the first step, because we must have comprehensive immigration reform to protect everyone.
Mr. President [Robert Nelsen] it’s wonderful to see you here at Sac State. I’ve seen you be a leader in other parts of the country and it’s wonderful that you are here. Thank you, Sac State, for hosting us today. Madam President – doesn’t that have a nice ring to it?
[Laughter and applause]
I thank Mia [Kagianas] for her welcome, but also her commitment to our DREAMers and the resolution that was passed to pass a clean DREAM Act here at Sac State, so the rest of you will help us get the votes to get this done.
It’s honor to be here with two of our colleagues – Congressman Ami Bera from this region. Ami’s been working on this not only himself as an individual as your Representative but as a part of the [Congressional] Asian Pacific [American] Caucus of the Congress of the United States. Ami, thank you for joining us!
And [Congressman] Jerry McNerney who is here – from our state in this region – thank you, Jerry!
Our House Democratic Caucus is 100 percent in support of the DREAM Act – every Member of our Caucus. We don’t have the majority, we need a few more votes, we need you to help us do that. We need you to help us do that for our country.
Now, let’s just talk about the families for just one second. These DREAMers have inspired so many of us. The American people are there. Seventy-six percent of Americans support us passing the DREAM Act – actually a higher number, but the 76 said they accepted a path to citizenship or legalization. Fifty-nine percent of Republicans support, more than that, more than 60 percent of Republicans. So, we want Congress to reflect the will of the people. The American people know who they are, a people who are proud of its immigration heritage, that it is what has made our country great.
So, let me just tell you a couple of things. As we fight this fight we recognize that the beauty of the DREAMers is that they speak for their parents, they say, ‘Our parents made us who we are, we need to protect them.’
Again, the DREAMers are keeping the American dream alive. Make America dream again. Our DREAMers are doing that.
We are working with different groups who are committed to this. October 5 — that is the day that DREAMers who haven’t re-upped must re-up. Do it sooner. Think of it as October 1 or something. If you need financial assistance to do it, come to us, we will help with that. If you need legal assistance, there are groups that can offer legal assistance. Report to us any behavior that is unacceptable in terms of what the President said that there is not going to be a going after any DREAMers or their families.
But we need to have that information to make that fight from the facts. These next days are very, very important. I want you to know that we have full commitment to do this in a bipartisan way. Democrats and Republicans working together for the good of the country led by our DREAMers.
Let me just say, our DREAMers here today are our VIPs. Jesus Limon is here, who is a teacher at Sacramento State, and we are so proud of him…
Thank you for your courage. We thank all of the DREAMers who have the courage to come forward, to make America dream again, to make America more American.
With that, it is my honor to introduce Jesus Limon, I want to give him time to tell his story — I want you to hear it directly from him. With all the respect and admiration, I invite you to contribute to Jesus Limon.
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