December 20, 2010 STATEMENT — LIRS Responds to the Senate DREAM Act Vote

Press Contact: Fabio Lomelino, Assistant Director for Media Relations
410-230-2721, lirspress@lirs.org

Baltimore, December 20, 2010—Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is extremely disappointed with the failure of the Senate to advance the DREAM Act on December 18, 2010. Although 55 Senators voted to advance the bill, 60 votes were needed to reach a final vote to approve the legislation.

The DREAM Act is bipartisan legislation that has been introduced in every legislative session since 2001. The bill would allow undocumented students who were brought to the United States as children, who are long-term U.S.residents, and have good moral character to become lawful permanent residents provided that they attend college or serve in the U.S. military for two years.

On Wednesday, December 8, 2010, while more than 40 Lutheran leaders were on Capitol Hill visiting members of Congress, the House of Representatives passed the DREAM Act with a bipartisan vote of 216-198. Last weekend a bipartisan majority of Senators voted in favor of advancing the bill, but it was not enough to overcome the filibuster.

“The Senate’s failure to advance the DREAM Act regrettably represents a missed opportunity to advance the common good,” said LIRS President and CEO Linda Hartke. “A strong majority of Americans recognize the fundamental fairness of the DREAM ACT and support the aspirations of these young people who are ready to give back to this country generously and with courage. Despite Saturday’s vote, LIRS and our broad national network of individual citizens, social ministry organizations, churches and church leaders remain committed to working with the Congress and the Administration to build support for fair and humane migration policies.”

LIRS welcomes migrants and refugees on behalf of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Founded in 1939, LIRS assists and advocates on behalf of refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration, and other vulnerable populations and provides services to migrants through over 60 grassroots legal and social service partners.

If you have any questions about this statement, please contact Eric B. Sigmon, Director for Advocacy at (202) 626-7943 or via email at esigmon@lirs.org.

 

To read the September 24, 2010 LIRS DREAM Act letter to Congress, click here: http://lirs.org/press-inquiries/press-room/112410letter/

To read the December 6, 2010 DREAM Act letter from the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, click here: http://bit.ly/goqndi

To read the December 17, 2010 DREAM Act statement by LIRS and Lutheran leaders, click here: http://lirs.org/press-inquiries/press-room/121710statement/