LULAC Supports Immigration Reform and Amnesty for Dreamers

June 28, 2011

Contact: Paloma Zuleta, (202) 365-4553

As Senator Durbin Leads Hearings on DREAM Act

CINCINNATI, OHIO – With the backdrop of the 2011 National Convention & Expo in Cincinnati, the Ethnic and Ancestry Branch Chief for the U.S. Census Bureau, Roberto Ramirez, analyzed the most recent findings from the 2010 Census.

From Washington State to Key West, the Hispanic population growth is everywhere. Fueled primarily by natural growth, only 35.8 percent of the increase is due to immigration. Some of the most significant growth between 2000 and 2010 were in middle America states that previously were not typical Hispanic communities. South Carolina saw a 148 percent increase in its Hispanic population; Alabama’s grew 145 percent; Tennessee’s Hispanic growth spurt was 134 percent; Kentucky’s Latino community expanded 122 percent while Arkansas’s increased 114 percent.

“These are not just numbers,” said LULAC Executive Director Brent Wilkes. “It is an indication that our country has changed demographically, yet our government and communities have not changed their practices to address the needs of our society. If we don’t do it now, we’ll pay the price in the future.

In fact, Cincinnati was selected as the venue for the 82nd annual convention, in part, because this city of immigrants, a key stop on the Underground Railroad, is now home to 125,000 Latinos.

“Our country historically has opened its doors to the tired and the poor. This indeed is part of what makes the United States so great, and one reason why people have always wanted to call it home,” remarked Margaret Moran, LULAC President, at a press conference with the U.S. Census Bureau. “Today is a very special day as hearings begin in Washington on the DREAM Act.”

Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin, (D-IL), chairs the first-ever Senate hearing on the DREAM Act before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security.

“It is un-American to punish our youth who excel in school or serve selflessly in our military,” added Moran.

Durbin has been working on the DREAM Act for over ten years. In that time, it passed the House of Representatives, and received a bipartisan majority vote in the Senate, only to fall because of a filibuster. Durbin is expected to give examples of how the DREAM Act will make our country stronger by giving undocumented students a chance to earn legal status if they came here as children, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, and complete two years of college or military service in good standing.

LULAC believes our nation urgently needs an effective and practical immigration system that will reflect the best of America's values. LULAC supports a reform that will reduce the backlog of individuals seeking residency or citizenship and restructure the naturalization process in a manner that is streamlined, consistent, fair, and equitable for those seeking US Citizenship,

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The League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest and largest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, health, housing and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating nearly 900 LULAC councils nationwide.


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