Congressman Adriano Espaillat Delivers Inspirational Plea on House Floor in Support of DACA and DREAMERS

February 14, 2018
Press Release
“A Dream Deferred is a Dream Denied”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY13) delivered an inspirational plea and statement from the U.S. House Floor in support of DACA and efforts to protect DREAMERS.

Below are Rep. Espaillat’s remarks as prepared for delivery.

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HON. Adriano Espaillat

OF New York


February 14, 2018

            “I rise today to say - shame! Shame on my colleagues for gambling with the lives of young people!

            “While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has publicly made DACA an open debate – we know it for what it is – a rouse! This is a limited debate and it is far from being a fair process. The Majority Leader has limited the debate to ONE WEEK – and the first attempts for floor votes were on sanctuary cities.

            “The Senate is, once again, sandbagging DREAMers. A fair process, Mr. Speaker, would be to start with the bipartisan DREAM Act.

            “In this Chamber, Speaker Paul Ryan has yet to make a commitment to bring a clean DREAM Act to the Floor. Why have we forsaken these young people, Mr. Speaker.

            “DREAMers are OUR children, they are MY children! When I look into their faces, I see my own face.

            “When I look into their faces, I see McCarthur Genius Fellows like Cristina Jimenez and Ivan Rosales who is working towards becoming a doctor in the military. There is so much aspiration.

            “Just yesterday, a federal court issued a second order to protect DREAMers. Two federal courts have now determined that President Trump’s termination of DACA was unlawful.

            “Mr. Speaker, the fate of these young people rests right here in the palm of our hands.

            “We need to ask ourselves, are we a nation of aspiration or deportation?

            “It's in our hands. We cannot keep deferring a vote on a clean DREAM Act: a vote deferred is a dream denied! Justice delayed is justice denied.

            “Thank you, and I yield back the remainder of my time.”

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First elected to Congress in 2016, Rep. Adriano Espaillat is serving his first term in Congress where he serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the House Select Committee on Small Business.  He is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and serves in a leadership role as CHC Freshman Representative to the Democratic Caucus. He is also chairman of the CHC Task Force for Transportation, Infrastructure and Housing.  Rep. Espaillat’s Congressional District includes Harlem, East Harlem, northern Manhattan and the north-west Bronx. To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at

Media inquiries: Candace Randle Person at