MCALLEN, RGV – Congressman Vicente Gonzalez spoke on the floor of the U.S. House on Wednesday in support of legislation to protect DREAMers from deportation.
Gonzalez, D-McAllen, requested an immediate vote on the DREAM Act, pointing out that House Democrats have called 19 times for an up or down vote on the DREAM Act.
Gonzalez, member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said he has been a steadfast advocate for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and has co-sponsored various legislative solutions to protect DREAMers. He said he supports bipartisan and bicameral efforts to give DREAMers a pathway to citizenship.
Here are Rep. Gonzalez’s remarks on the floor of the House:
Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to vote “NO” on the Previous Question so that we can immediately bring the DREAM Act to the Floor.
I stand before you today, with a re-opened government, ready to transform discussion into action.
This is the nineteenth (19) time we have requested a vote on the DREAM Act.
Congress did not create this emergency, this is a mere negotiation tactic brought about by the actions of a single man.
The time for tactics is over.
Now is the time to put your vote to work, and break the deadlock on this issue.
We are a nation of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.
A great man once said:
“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respected Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges …”
That man was George Washington, our country’s first president.
Now, let us take a moment to reflect on this, and how President Washington saw our country.
George Washington would welcome an opulent and respected stranger, you know, like folks from Norway.
However, we should also welcome the oppressed and persecuted of ALL nations and religions.
Compare George Washington’s words with President Trump, who said:
“I do business with the Mexican people, but you have people coming through the border that are from all over. And they’re bad. They’re really bad. You have people coming in, and I’m not just saying Mexicans, I’m talking about people that are from all over that are killers and rapists and they’re coming into this country.”
Please, Mr. Speaker, do not let this era be known as the day that America surrendered.
Do not let our country go down the path of religious persecution.
Do not let our country fall to the dictates of convenience.
The United States of America sets the tone for the rest of the world.
In other words, Mr. Speaker, if we do not help those less fortunate than us, who can we count on?
It is too easy to say no, Mr. Speaker.
It is easy to surrender.
It is a rare occasion where an easy choice is the right choice.
Is it not up to us, the leaders of our country to take the hard path, the path taken by our ancestors.
About 800,000 young people living in our country – also known as DREAMers – are facing an uncertain future.
Many criticize how DACA was created, some even criticize the granting of status to immigrants.
I say this is un-American.
I say to these critics, it is time to become problem solvers.
We have only a few days left under the current continuing resolution to pass a bill that provides DACA recipients a pathway to citizenship.
We made promises to the American people, and to the 800,000 DREAMers who are Americans in every way – except on paper.
To all DREAMers, I want you to know that I am with you.
Today, I call on every member of Congress to remember that we are a nation founded by immigrants.
I call on you to give these DREAMers a chance.
Let’s get it done.
I yield back the balance of my time.”