Letter to Sens. Snowe and Collins Following 'No' Vote on DREAM Act

As faith leaders who have advocated for the DREAM Act, our hearts break for the thousands of young people who would have benefited from passage of this common-sense, compassionate legislation. We believe deeply in the Scriptural imperative to care for the immigrant, and are keenly aware of the daunting obstacles faced by these young men and women who continue to wait for Congress to pass the DREAM Act. As people of faith and as citizens, we are outraged.

By voting to filibuster the DREAM Act, Senators Snowe and Collins perpetrated a grave injustice. They should know better. They know the stories of Bernard Pastor, Gaby Pacheco and thousands of other talented young people – including many Mainers -- who yearn to contribute to our nation, but they chose to hide behind empty political excuses. Senators Snowe and Collins know our current policies deny hardworking, upstanding young immigrants a fair chance at a bright future because of decisions their parents made years ago. We told them ourselves, but the truth fell on deaf ears, closed minds and hardened hearts.

The deliberate infliction of hardship on innocent, patriotic young immigrants is a dereliction of Senators Snowe and Collins’s duties as public servants, neighbors and self-proclaimed people of faith. The Biblical mandate to care for the immigrant and do justice is unmistakable. No Senator who professes to be a person of faith can credibly claim ignorance of these core tenets. Again, we lifted up these teachings to Senators Snowe and Collins, but the truth fell on deaf ears, a closed mind and a hardened heart. Today, we call on Senators Snowe and Collins and all those who filibustered the DREAM Act to repent and reflect on their responsibilities as public servants and people of faith, and we demand that they reverse their opposition to this bill.

Despite the setback suffered last weekend, the movement of young people working to pass the DREAM Act is growing stronger every day. As people of faith, we are more committed and more mobilized than ever to support these courageous young immigrants in their fight to pass the DREAM Act, knowing that they will be far better public servants than Senators Snowe and Collins and their colleagues were when they filibustered this legislation.

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