DREAM Act Vote Shows the Two Faces of John Cornyn
Texas' junior senator votes against college access bill after declaring his support to El Pasoans; Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison votes to continue debate on mainstream measure.
(Houston, TX) – Talking out of one side of his mouth when he visits the border, and another when he votes in Washington, Senator John Cornyn once again voted against the children and the future of Texas yesterday.
During an August visit to El Paso, the junior senator from Texas declared his support for the DREAM Act, the El Paso Times reported.1 Yet, when faced with a vote yesterday, he failed to join 12 of his Republican colleagues – including Texas' senior Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison – in passing the bill.
"I applaud Senator Hutchison for doing the right thing while John Cornyn was backing away from his promise. The DREAM Act benefits those kids who know no other home, had no say in the matter when their parents brought them to America, and who did what we've asked of them by working hard," Noriega said.
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act would provide access to college for children brought to the United States illegally, and create a path to citizenship for such children so long as they were enrolled in school or the military.
"The DREAM Act is a statement that Texans believe in education. John Cornyn has chosen to reverse his position for political gain, opting instead to exploit the education of Hispanic children to use as a wedge issue," Noriega said.
State Representative Noriega passed a Texas version of the DREAM Act in 2001, which subsequently has allowed over 10,000 Texas children access to college and set them on the path to becoming educated, productive, and taxpaying Texans.
The federal DREAM Act, which fell short of the necessary 60 votes, 52-44, would have granted conditional legal status to those who entered the country before the age of 16, have lived in the United States more than five years, graduate high school, lack a criminal record, and demonstrate "good moral character." Conditional status would be lifted only after the completion of at least two years of higher education or military service, and citizenship could only be applied for after five years.
Last month, Senator Cornyn voted against a State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) bill, and subsequently opted not to override President Bush's veto.
"Once again, Senator Cornyn voted against the children of Texas and against the future. First, he voted against health insurance for children, and now he's voted against education. In Texas, we value children. We don't try to limit their opportunities based on political calculations," Noriega said.
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