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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about three issues that are very important to my district and the Nation.
First, I want to talk about the immigration policy or the lack of an immigration policy that we have in this country; a, in essence, broken immigration system.
For years I have been saying that we need to fix it, and we need to do that in a bipartisan way because it is the only way we are going to be successful. I supported bipartisan efforts in 2013, the legislation that came out of the Senate by a vote of 68-13. Prior to that, I supported President Bush's efforts and, more recently, President Obama's efforts; but, unfortunately, we have not been successful through these efforts.
That is why today I think we need to be focusing on at least one segment that would have been addressed if, in fact, we fix this broken immigration system. And that is those DREAMers, those young people covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that was initiated by President Obama that is now going to expire.
These people came here at the average age of 6 years. Most of them don't know the country they came from. Most of them consider themselves, in essence, Americans. They are going to school. They are in our military service. They are serving in many different ways. They have jobs. They are part of families in which some are here legally and some are not. You are talking about breaking up families.
Yesterday I signed a discharge petition to bring to the House floor the bipartisan, bicameral Dream Act, which will permanently protect these DREAMers by offering them a path to earned citizenship, not amnesty.
I will continue to do everything in my power to bring the Dream Act to the House floor for a vote and to work then, after that, for comprehensive immigration reform, which is what we really need to do so that we don't keep up ending back here like a continued broken record.
I want our DREAMers to know that many of us in Washington and across the Nation stand with them. The overwhelming majority of Americans believe that we ought to fix this. And I hope, before the end of this year, in a bipartisan fashion, we will do just that.
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