Michigan Resident Testifies at U.S. Senate Hearing on DREAM Act
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
WASHINGTON — Macomb County resident Ola Kaso will testify today in support of the DREAM Act before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security. The DREAM Act is a bill which would allow a select group of immigrant students who were brought to the United States as children earn legal resident status.
|Sen. Levin meets with Ola Kaso before her testimony.|
Kaso and her mother, Violeta Kaso, faced deportation this month before Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., intervened and secured a one-year deferment of their deportation. More information on that action is available here.
Levin is an original cosponsor of the DREAM Act.
Levin introduced Kaso in a statement filed with the subcommittee. That statement is below.
Statement by Sen. Carl Levin Before the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security
Members of the Subcommittee, it is my pleasure to introduce to you Ola Kaso, a young lady whom we in Michigan are proud to call one of our own.
Ola will relate to you the story of her and her mother – how they came here when Ola was 5, how they forged a life in Macomb County, Michigan, how her mother established a successful bakery and became a pillar of her community, and how Ola became a top student, active in athletics and other activities and at the top of her class academically, ready to graduate high school and attend the University of Michigan. She will also tell you how the mistakes of an attorney and the inadequacies of our immigration system nearly took all this away from Ola and her mother – and nearly took them away from all of us.
For my own part, speaking on behalf of the thousands who contacted me in support of Ola and her mother, let me say this: This young lady and her mother embody so much that is good about our country. For centuries, immigrants have come to these shores and through hard work, determination and skill, built new lives. In the process, they have helped built this nation.
Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, we need for Ola Kaso to be able to stay in this country. We need her and people like her in our communities, in our schools and universities, in our businesses. Any system or policy that would deport this family is in need of reform. This is a matter not of Democrat and Republican, left and right, but of right and wrong. And I encourage this subcommittee and my colleagues in the Senate to embrace Ola Kaso and young Americans like her who will make our country stronger if only we allow them to.
I want to thank Chairman Durbin for holding today’s hearing. I am an original cosponsor of the DREAM Act and I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.