Watch video of remarks.
*Below are remarks by Rep. Espaillat as prepared for delivery in support of the Dream Act.
“Congresswoman Louise Slaughter is managing time for us so she will yield to YOU. She will say the following script:
“If we defeat the previous question, I will offer an amendment to the rule to bring up H.R. 3440, the DREAM Act. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation would help thousands of young people who are Americans in every way except on paper.
“M. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to insert the text of my amendment in the Record along with extraneous material immediately prior to the vote on the previous question.
To discuss our proposal, I yield two minutes) to the gentleman, from New York, Mr. Adriano Espaillat.”
“Mr. Speaker, there are 2,400 DACA recipients in my district, no somos uno, we are not one; there are 30,000 DACA recipients in my home state of New York, no somos cien, we’re not one hundred; and there are 800,000 DACA recipients in the country, and as of this year, there were more than 10,000 noncitizens serving in the U.S. military and an additional 11,524 noncitizens under reserve status – somos millones, cuentanos bien. We are millions, count us well.
DREAMERS are veterans, teachers, nurses, college students, and DREAMERS are also MacArthur Genius Fellows.
“Cristina Jiménez is a MacArthur Genius Fellow, a powerhouse champion for immigrant youth, and like me, she is also a CUNY alum and she grew up undocumented.
“I remember arriving to the United States, speaking limited English, and being fearful of deportation. As a young boy in a new country, I never could have imagined serving in the United States Congress.
“I want this same opportunity for other DREAMERS.
“That is why I urge my colleagues to bring a clean DREAM Act to the House Floor.
“H.R. 3440, the DREAM Act, would not provide automatic amnesty, as I’ve heard my colleagues say.
“The DREAM Act has an 8 year conditional basis of permanent residency status — and you have to either work for 3 years, serve in the military, or study, keep a clean record, get a background check, a medical exam, and THEN after a few more years, you can apply for citizenship.
“I ask my colleagues to vote against the Previous Question so that we can immediately bring the DREAM act to the Floor and provide certainty, hope, and opportunity for 800,000 talented young people. Our country needs them, and we cannot afford to wait another day.
“I yield back.
To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at https://espaillat.house.gov/.