The following is Dolores Huerta's open letter to Arizona's Senator John McCain:
Dear Senator McCain:
You stood shoulder to shoulder with me and Cesar Chavez’s family at the
unveiling of the official commemorative postal stamp in honor of Cesar Chavez.
We need you to live up to the legacy of justice you represented in that press
conference. Vote to bring the DREAM Act to the Senate floor, and vote to pass
DREAM Act into law.
Seventy percent of the people in the United States support the DREAM ACT. Do
the will of the American public. As Cesar Chavez often said, “It Can Be Done.” .
Throughout your distinguished career, Senator, you have continually identified
with the legacy of Cesar Chavez, a native son of your own state of Arizona.
As sponsor and chief spokesperson for SB164 the “Cesar Estrada Chavez Study
Act” for the past decade. You invoked Cesar Chavez’s passions for justice and
education as if they were your own. You continuously identified with his legacy.
“Mr. Chavez’s legacy is an inspiration to us all and he will be
remembered for helping Americans to transcend distinctions of
experience and share equally in the rights and responsibilities of
freedom. It is important that we honor his struggle...”“Cesar Chavez, an Arizonan born in Yuma, was the son of migrant
farm workers.... His efforts on behalf of some of the most
oppressed individuals in our society are an inspiration, and through
his work he made America a bigger and better nation.
And quoted Cesar’s words:
“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and
prosperity for our community... our ambitions must be broad enough to
include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our
The young DREAM Act students with whom I am fasting believe that you can
once again stand tall with independence and conviction, and that you will
continue Cesar Chavez’s legacy by bringing justice to the DREAM students.
The benefits of this bill for our country are great. There will be educated
professionals contributing to the American economy. They will bring in billions
of revenue from taxes and will help us create jobs. The Congressional Budget
Office reports that DREAM Act students would help cut the federal deficit by
$1.4 billion over 10 years and would generate $2.4 billion in revenue. A UCLA
study estimated this revenue number would be $3.6 trillion over a forty year span.
For children whose only home has been the United States and never committed a
crime, you can offer your hand so they can contribute their talents to our society.
They are students—Dream Act students—with a passion for the service of others
and this great country. You must not turn your back on them.
Senator McCain, you are aware of this hunger and this passion, because you are a
father who cares about providing opportunity for your children. You are a
decorated veteran who cares about protecting our country. You are a
distinguished leader in the U.S. Senate who cares deeply about the future of our
The fasting DREAM Act students (Dulce Juarez and Celso Mireles, as well as the
mother of a DREAM Act student Rosa Marta Soto) outside your office are hungry
for knowledge and eager for the opportunities to learn and to serve our great
country. But they are not alone. Joining them in this fast and in this fight for
justice are students from Illinois, California, Washington, D.C., Texas, Georgia,
Iowa, Florida and New York. They are looking to you for leadership, Senator.
With your past support of the DREAM Act, you have shown this leadership.
They need you now.
You are in a unique position to make the difference and bring justice for these
students by exerting your leadership in the Senate. Please continue your
commitment to honor Cesar Chavez’s legacy by voting YES for the DREAM Act.
¡Sí Se Puede!
Dolores Huerta Foundation