STATEMENT BY THE PUERTO RICAN BAR ASSOCIATION JOINED BY THE DOMINICAN BAR ASSOCIATION, HISPANIC NATIONAL BAR ASSOCIATION AND METROPOLITAN BLACK BAR ASSOCIATION IN SUPPORT OF THE DREAM ACT
We would like to thank Senator Richard Durbin for initiating and chairing the first Senate subcommittee hearing on the DREAM Act. We would also like to thank Senator Charles Schumer for his leadership as Chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee.
We contend that the DREAM Act will remedy a cruel and unjust aspect of our immigration policy. The DREAM Act is potentially applicable to approximately two million people who have grown up in the U.S., are rooted in the U.S., whose allegiance is pledged to the US, whose dreams have been cultivated in the U.S., and who deserve a chance to become fully contributing members of the only society they know. Dreamers have little to no ties to their countries of origin, yet no meaningful way to belong to the U.S., the nation that is their home. We must eliminate this gap in our immigration policy and provide an opportunity for this deserving population to belong.
Dreamers have invested their hopes and dreams in America; however, this investment has not been recognized by the U.S. government. Many dreamers volunteer in their own and other communities; many serve as role models for both undocumented residents and citizens alike. As a professional organization, we stress the importance of mentorship, education and civic participation. The DREAM Act will assure that a highly motivated and American-raised sector of our population will be given the opportunity to work hard and contribute to their full capacity.
With changing demographics and growing awareness of this issue, we must stand together as a community that embraces all the people of this country. We must be a society that recognizes fundamental principles of fairness and human rights. We must create a path to offer full participation to those who are Americans in every way, and who are ready, willing and able to comply with the requirements of the DREAM Act.
As legal bar associations our mission is to assist and support the ongoing struggle for equality. We act not only as a guardian of the law, but as a vehicle for change when the law falls short of its responsibility to be fair. For over 50 years, from the civil rights era to the present, this has been and continues to be our mission and our legacy.
Rosevelie Márquez Morales, President, Puerto Rican Bar Association, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elba Galvan, Corresponding Secretary, Puerto Rican Bar Association, email@example.com
Fiordaliza Rodriguez, President, Dominican Bar Association. firstname.lastname@example.org
Diana Sen, President, Hispanic National Bar Association, email@example.com (the HNBA has also submitted a separate statement in support of the DREAM Act)
Joseph M. Drayton, President, Metropolitan Black Bar Association, firstname.lastname@example.org