The Latino Action Network is a grassroots organization composed of individuals and organizations that are committed to engaging in collective action at the local, state and national levels in order to advance the equitable inclusion of the diverse Latino communities in all aspects of United States society.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Latino Action Network Denounces US Senate Defeat of Dream Act

The Latino Action Network [LAN] vowed today to work with other state and national organizations to defeat members of the United States Senate who voted against the Dream Act this weekend.  [Read full Press Release Below]

Latino Action Network Denounces US Senate
Defeat of Dream Act

Calls on Latinos to Remember those who Voted Against It.

For Immediate Release: December 20, 2010
Frank Argote-Freyre, President – 908-670-0552
Christian Estevez, Executive Vice President – 973-418-7012
Daniel Santo Pietro, Chair of Public Policy Committee – 732-496-9628

The Latino Action Network [LAN] vowed today to work with other state and national organizations to defeat members of the United States Senate who voted against the Dream Act this weekend. In the aftermath of the vote, the Network stressed the importance of passing in-state tuition in New Jersey to ensure that the children of undocumented immigrants have a chance to receive a university education and called on members of the State Legislature to pass the appropriate legislation in 2011.

The US Senate failed to overcome a filibuster that prevented a vote on the Dream Act by a 55-41 vote on Saturday. The measure was opposed by 36 Republicans and five Democrats.

“The names of the Senators that voted against the Dream Act should be emblazoned on the minds of Latinos across the United States every time they step in a voting booth,” said Frank Argote-Freyre, President of the LAN.  “A majority of the Senate was prepared to pass this critical civil rights measure that would have allowed hundreds of thousands of youths brought to this country by their parents without documentation an opportunity to contribute to America’s future by completing their higher education or military service and eventually acquire citizenship.”

  Daniel Santo Pietro, Chair of the Network’s Public Policy Committee stated, “It is a long tradition in Western law not to hold children responsible for the transgressions of their parents.  By denying these youths their basic civil rights, we deny ourselves future leaders, entrepreneurs and scientists that we need just to satisfy an anti-immigrant political agenda.  This is an intolerable situation that Latinos and other Americans of like mind must repudiate.

Both New Jersey Senators, Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, were strong proponents and supporters of the Dream Act, but several New Jersey Representatives opposed it including, Rodney Frelinghuysen, Scott Garrett, Leonard Lance, Frank LoBiondo, and Christopher Smith.

            Christian Estevez, Executive Vice President of the LAN, summarized the current situation, “In the short term the New Jersey State Legislature has to step forward and at least enact the In-State Tuition bill that the State Senate narrowly declined to move forward last December.  All New Jersey college presidents should endorse this bill and other steps to support the youth left in limbo by the US Senate’s debacle. LAN efforts will be focused on organizing New Jersey’s students in support of in-state tuition in New Jersey and comprehensive immigration reform at the national level.

The LAN was founded in 2009 as a vehicle to mobilize the Latino community to seek greater social and economic justice. A list of the Senators who opposed the Dream Act will be placed on the LAN’s website and blog to remind its members of their vote.

US Senators Voting Against the Dream Act


Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
John Barrasso of Wyoming
Kit Bond of Missouri
Scott Brown of Massachusetts
Sam Brownback of Kansas
Richard Burr of North Carolina
Saxby Chambliss of Georgia
Tom Coburn of Oklahoma
Thad Cochran of Mississippi
Susan Collins of Maine
Bob Corker of Tennessee
John Cornyn of Texas
Mike Crapo of Idaho
Jim DeMint of South Carolina
John Ensign of Nevada
Michael Enzi of Wyoming
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas
James Inhofe of Oklahoma
Johnny Isakson of Georgia
Mike Johanns of Nebraska
Mark Kirk of Illinois
Jon Kyl of Arizona
George LeMieux of Florida
John McCain of Arizona
Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
James Risch of Idaho
Pat Roberts of Kansas
Jeff Sessions of Alabama
Richard Shelby of Alabama
Olympia Snowe of Maine
John Thune of South Dakota
David Vitter of Louisiana
George Voinovich of Ohio
Roger Wicker of Mississippi

Max Baucus of Montana
Kay Hagan of North Carolina
Ben Nelson of Nebraska
Mark Pryor of Arkansas
Jon Tester of Montana