“A Special Day for Everyone in Illinois”: State DREAM Act Signing

Cross-posted from the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs’ (JCUA) blog.  

On August 1, 2011 the DREAM Act was signed into law for the State of Illinois by Gov. Pat Quinn. This was a momentous achievement for every person and organization that was involved in helping make this day happen. The Illinois DREAM Act will help set up privately-funded scholarships for immigrants so they can go to college. Below are quotes from various leaders that were present at the DREAM Act signing.

Gov. Pat Quinn
“It’s a special day for everyone in Illinois. We are showing the whole country that our state, Illinois, the most diverse state in the whole Union, is the best reflection of the entire country’s population. We’re showing today, by my signature on this bill, what democracy is all about: when people band together and work together for a common goal, for a common good.”

Arianna Salgado (undocumented student), PASO/ Nuestra Voz
“Today we celebrate our victory– a day when education is upheld in Illinois and undocumented students are acknowledged and respected.”

“The Illinois DREAM Act was not only urgent, it was urgent to our parents who have sacrificed everything to make sure that we achieved our dreams.”

“We are here to celebrate not just another victory, but the passage of legislation that puts Illinois at the forefront nationwide as a state that recognizes that all students deserve the same opportunity to continue their education. Today we make history again as we send a message across our great nation that education is valued and that every single student should be able to thrive, regardless of their immigration status.”

Rep. Angelo Saviano (R-Elmwood Park)
“We like to offer people opportunities to help themselves and this piece of legislation totally does that.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel
“It’s only fitting that Illinois has chosen a different path on immigration than other states in the nation.”

“[The Illinois DREAM Act] is only an opportunity. Now we must seize it.”

Illinois Sen. Pres. John Cullerton
“I am very proud that I sponsored this bill. It’s not everything that we wanted, but it’s a good start.”

Rep. Edward Acevedo (D-Chicago)
“If you dedicate yourself to the American dream then you are American.”

Dr. Michael Hogan, president of the University of Illinois
“I’m honored to be here as we remove another border between dreams and reality.”

Raul Raymundo, chief executive officer of The Resurrection Project
“It’s not enough for the DREAMers to go on to college and not be able to work after that. The job is not done. We need to continue to work extra hard toward achieving the federal DREAM Act. Illinois can demonstrate to the country that Republicans and Democrats can come together and make a difference.”