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Outpour of support for DREAM Act reaches unprecedented levels

LatinaLista — When news arrived last night in my inbox that Sen. Harry Reid scheduled a vote on the DREAM Act for Saturday morning, I knew I would be receiving more “Call your Congressman/woman” pleas.


I did.

But I also have been receiving press releases of more people and organizations who have signed up to show their support in giving these young people opportunities they deserve.

It is truly amazing how many people, from all walks of life, have come out in support of the DREAM Act — from Lady Gaga to Hispanic Republicans.

As of this writing, reports are filtering in that those Senators opposed to the bill have already stopped taking calls about it. Are they feeling the pressure or they just don’t want to hear how the other American people feel about this issue?

The people who live in their districts but don’t have the money, extra or otherwise, to donate to their campaign coffers. The people who do their best to help themselves without relying on government assistance but will never have enough to keep from living paycheck to paycheck.

The people for whom health care is seen as a luxury item.

Passing the DREAM Act doesn’t just open the doors of opportunities for a certain group of young people. It will also underscore an assumption held by many in the Latino community — Latino concerns don’t receive equal legislative representation.

A NO vote doesn’t just deliver a difference of opinion; it delivers a rejection that will be profoundly personal and deeply felt within the Latino community. That is why so many more people have signed on to show Congressional holdouts that it’s not just a bunch of undocumented students who want to see this bill pass.

There are people like:

Actress Eva Longoria
Actress America Ferrera
Musical group Ozomatli
Unanimous support from Oregon’s Multnomah County commissioners
National Association of Latino Elected Officials Educational Fund
University presidents from Tufts, Harvard, MIT
Becky Pringle, Secretary Treasurer, National Education Association
Antonia Cortese, Secretay-Treasurer, American Federation of Teachers
Gary Rhoades, Secretary General, American Association of University Professors
Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize winning author of “A Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao”, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Roberto G. Gonzales, Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, author of “Young Lives on Hold: the College Dreams of Undocumented Students”
Bishop Minerva Carcaño, Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church, Phoenix, AZ
Bishop Jim Dorff, Southwest Texas Conference, United Methodist Church, San Antonio, TX
Jim Wallis, Sojourners
Rabbi David Saperstein, Religious Action Center
Peg Chemberlin, National Council of Churches
Rev. Jayne L Ruiz, First Presbyterian Church, New Orleans, LA
Rev. Troy Jackson, University Christian Church, Cincinnati, OH
Rev. Arturo Chavez, Mexican American Catholic College, San Antonio, TX
Dr. Melissa Rogers, Wake Forest University Divinity School, Winston-Salem, NC
Rubén Castilla Herrera, Ohio Action Circle, Columbus, OH
Russell Meyer, Florida Council of Churches, Tampa, FL
Rev. Fred Small, First Parish- Cambridge (Unitarian Universalist), Cambridge, MA
María Antonietta Berriozábal, former city councilwoman, San Antonio, TX
Harry Knox, Resurrection Metropolitan Community, Houston, TX
Rev. Lorenza Andrade Smith, Rio Grande Conference, United Methodist Church, San Antonio, TX
Rev. Owen Ross, Christ’s Foundry United Methodist Church, Dallas, TX
Rev. Sergio Tristan, Kansas West Conference, United Methodist Church, Wichita, KS
Elder Nora Bess, Holy Family Catholic Church, Hilton Head, SC
Rev. Michael Mann, Northern Illinois Conference, United Methodist Church
Pastor Israel Ortiz, Iglesia Pentecostal El Sinai, Portland, ME
Rev. John Richardson, Regional Minister, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in North Carolina, Wilson, NC
Rev. Jean O’Bresky, Sanbornton Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Sanbornton, NH

As I’m writing this, I’m receiving more names. I would guess that the number of people who support passage of the DREAM Act outnumber not only the critics but even the number of young people who would benefit from it.

There are still some Senators who feel the Latino voice is insignificant in this democracy. I list them and their numbers below in case anyone believes that blocking a bill out of spite and prejudice is not just wrong but unAmerican:

Ben Nelson (D-NE), 202-224-6551

Kay Hagan (D-NC), 202-224-6342

Claire McCaskill (D-MO), 202-224-6154

Mary Landrieu (D-LA), 202-224-5824

Lindsey Graham (R-SC), 202-224-5972

Richard Lugar (R-IN), 202-224-4814

· Olympia Snowe (R-ME), 202-224-5344

Susan Collins (R-ME), 202-224-2523

George Voinovich (R-OH), 202-224-3353

George LeMieux (R-FL), 202-224-3041

Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX), 202-224-5922

Robert Bennett (R-UT), 202-224-5444

Lisa Murkowski (R-AL), 202-224-6665

John Cornyn (R-TX), 202-224-2934

John McCain (R-AZ), 202-224-2235

Jon Kyl (R-AZ), (202) 224-4521

Orrin Hatch (R-UT), 202-224-5251

John Ensign (R-NV), 202-224-6244

Mark Kirk (R-IL), 202-224-2854

Scott Brown (R-MA), 202-224-4543

Judd Gregg (R-NH), 202-224-3324

Sam Brownback (R-KS), 202-224-6521


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