Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Signing of the Dream Act in California

Comments by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo upon the signing of Assembly Bill 131, the second half of theCalifornia Dream Act

I first want to express my gratitude to Governor Brown who has today given hope and opportunity to thousands of current and future students and their families by signing Assembly Bill 131. The signing of now both parts of the California Dream Act will send a message across the country that California is prepared to lead the country with a positive and productive vision for how we approach challenging issues related to immigration. Today, Ana and Maria Gomez, Jaime Kim, David Cho, Pedro Ramirez - and thousands of other students who are some of the best and brightest in California, have been told by our Governor and legislative leaders that you are welcome here, that you have something to contribute, that you can be proud of what you have accomplished and that your talents and ambition will not go to waste.
The passage of the California Dream Act did not come without struggle. It emerged out of the desire for opportunity and inclusion, but it was initially stymied and vetoed out of an impulse of political fear. The lesson that we learn today - the insight that Steve Jobs expressed in that Stanford commencement address that has been featured so prominently this week - is that fear
is not an adequate or noble basis for our political aspirations.
The thousands of people and dozens of organizations who continued to fight for the California Dream Act year after year, in spite of the advice of experts and pundits who said it couldn't or shouldn't be done, have now seen their work vindicated. I thank all of them for their continued support through the years. Especially the students who have worked with my office and staff who knew all along that the Dream Act would not be passed in time to help them, but continued making phone calls and writing letters and traveling to Sacramento all night on busses. They have the most to be proud of because their work has been on behalf of others, the young students who they will never know who will be lifted up because of their dedication and sacrifice. Their work has been an expression of deep love. The California Dream Act is the embodiment of a desire for justice, a vision of moral clarity and the courage to engage the rough and tumble of the political process. All of these elements are necessary to move history forward. This day will be remembered well into the future. Together we have sent a message of hope throughout the country. Dreams can come true. We have proved it today.
Gil Cedillo - October 8, 2011

No comments: