LOS ANGELES (December 20, 2010) – The U.S. Senate on Monday failed to allow the DREAM Act to move forward. The Asian Pacific American Legal Center, a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, is extremely disappointed with the Senate’s inaction but vows to continue the fight.
The DREAM Act would have given many undocumented immigrants who entered this country as children an opportunity to become U.S. citizens. The DREAM Act’s failure will impact Asians and Pacific Islanders in California, where 40 percent of undocumented student in the University of California system are API. Not surprisingly, a recent poll found that Asian American voters overwhelmingly support the DREAM Act (76 percent). (Poll by Los Angeles Times/USC, with funding from APALC.)
On the other hand, the Senate did vote to repeal the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy. Since 1993, DADT has forced gay and lesbian members of the armed forces to hide their sexual orientation. APALC applauds the Senate for joining the U.S. House of Representatives in supporting the repeal of this discriminatory policy, which the President has vowed to sign.
“Today was a bittersweet day for civil rights, with the Senate lacking the courage to advance the DREAM Act and dashing the hopes of thousands of young, hard-working immigrant youth,” said Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director of APALC. “But we thank the Senate for helping advance the cause of justice, by voting to repeal the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.”
Founded in 1983, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for civil rights, providing legal services and education, and building coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Pacific Americans and to create a more equitable and harmonious society. APALC is a member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, which also includes Asian American Institute (Chicago, IL), Asian American Justice Center (Washington, DC) and Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco, CA).