Senator Kirk Watson released the following statement Thursday as part of the DREAM Act Day of Action:
The DREAM Act is a compassionate, common-sense proposal – a limited but important part of the Texas solution we need to address the immigration issue. It would:
- Help those who were brought to the United States as children through no fault of their own by their parents or others, and who don’t know any other home besides here.
- Reward responsibility by targeting talented, committed Americans who will meet strict legal requirements, serve the nation, and contribute to our prosperity.
- Add billions of dollars to our economy through income and innovation.
It’s a tragedy of modern politics that immigration has become such a divisive issue. Some of America’s greatest historical strengths, after all, have flowed from the country’s ever-changing melting pot.
Diversity shouldn’t be viewed only for the challenges that come with it. It also should be recognized for boundless opportunities it presents – opportunities that Americans should recognize, from our history, better than anyone else in the world.
But the federal government has abdicated its responsibility and failed to confront the immigration issue. That vacuum has been filled by shameful rhetoric that does nothing but divide and weaken us. Even the DREAM Act, conceived as a limited, bipartisan solution to a specific issue, has fallen victim to short-sighted, extremist ideology.
We need a Texas solution on immigration. That solution, first and foremost, must secure our borders and keep us safe. And it must show zero tolerance for anyone who commits a serious crime.
But it also must recognize people who have lived as Americans for years – and who will meet stringent requirements to serve our country and contribute productively to our economy. The DREAM Act should be one part of that solution.