WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. David Vitter made the following remarks on the U.S. Senate floor criticizing the DREAM Act, legislation that provides a powerful incentive for more illegal immigration by granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced his intention to bring a new version of the amnesty measure up for a vote.
“I am extremely disappointed that Senator Reid intends to begin debate on yet another version of the DREAM Act,” said Vitter. “Amnesty and economic incentives only exacerbate the problem of illegal immigration, and while this bill continues to be disguised as an educational initiative, it is simply another measure that offers a path to citizenship for illegals in this country.
“This is a bad idea anytime, but this is an especially bad idea in our current economic climate. At a time when many American families can’t afford to send their own children to college, this bill is an insult to legal tax-paying American citizens whose hard-earned money will be used to finance the education of illegal aliens.
“The American people have made it very clear that they want to see the government fulfill its responsibility and enforce our immigration laws already on the books and take steps to control illegal immigration – not reward bad behavior with educational benefits. As chairman of the Senate Border Security Caucus, I will not relent in the fight to stop this or any amnesty measure from passing.”
Additionally, Vitter today sent a letter to the Congressional Budget Office requesting the estimated cost of the DREAM Act in advance of a vote on the legislation. The text of the letter follows:
Mr. Douglas Elmendorf
Director, Congressional Budget Office
Ford Office Building, 4th Floor
Second and D Streets, SW
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. Elmendorf,
In light of recent reports that the DREAM Act in the form of S. 3992 or H.R. 1751 will be voted on in Congress as early as today, December 2, 2010, I respectfully request an official score be produced or released by the Congressional Budget Office.
The DREAM Act would grant amnesty to an estimated 2.1 million illegal aliens, giving them access to in-state tuition rates at public universities, federal student loans, and federal work-study programs. The most recently introduced version, S. 3992, also requires the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services to conduct background checks and medical examinations, which will seemingly be funded by the federal government. It is imperative that Members of Congress and the American people know the estimated cost of the DREAM Act before a single vote is cast on this legislation.
Thanks in advance for your attention to this critical matter. If you have any questions regarding this request, please contact Maggie Harrell of my staff, by calling (202) 224-4623. I look forward to your prompt response.