DREAM Act Affects Local Woman

1 decade 1 month 3 days ago Thursday, November 08 2007 Nov 8, 2007 Thursday, November 08, 2007 12:54:07 PM UTC November 08, 2007 in News

A group of friends fight for one woman's chance at the American dream. Marie Gonzalez is not your average Westminster College student. The 20-year-old Costa Rican is studying international relations and law.

That battle got more uncertain after the U.S. Senate voted to end the DREAM Act.

"That was really one of my only options to be able to stay in the U.S," said Gonzalez.

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (or DREAM) Act was to grant Gonzalez legal residency after completing college.

Several days before the Senate voted on the DREAM Act, Gonzalez went to Washington D.C. herself. She lobbied several senators for her support, including Missouri Senator, Claire McCaskill.

"The DREAM Act was being filibustered in the Senate, when it needed a total of 60 votes, a cloture vote, to continue with debate. It received 52 votes, Senator McCaskill was a vote to end debate," Westminster College Democrats' President, Ian Mackey said.

Gonzalez's friends voiced their frustrations in a letter and delivered them to Senator McCaskill's Columbia office.

"Today we feel betrayed. We want our words back. We want our votes back, and we're no longer on your team," explained Mackey.

Gonzalez's friends and supporters hope to put a face to McCaskill's vote.

"We really want to hold her accountable for what she's doing in office," said Leslie Fisher, a supporter of the act.

"I am really hoping I get the opportunity to stay in the US and finish my degree and continue to live my dream here." Gonzalez said.

More than 20 friends came with Gonzalez to show their support for her and the DREAM Act.

Senator McCaskill's office in Columbia declined to comment on Marie's situation.

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