LatinaLista — The Hour of Reckoning is fast approaching for the fate of the Dream Act.
In the balance hangs the hopes of roughly 60,000 young people who want nothing more to be able to afford college and put that degree to use once they’re done.
Yet, if you were just listening to Republican Senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama on the floor of the Senate arguing against the passage of the Dream Act this afternoon, you would be thoroughly confused as to whom this bill benefits and what exactly it entails.
But that is what the GOP, with one notable exception, is counting on.
The Dream Act bill sponsored by Senator Durbin has over 20 co-sponsors. You would expect to see names like Clinton, Obama, Kennedy, Boxer, and Kerry â€” but McCain?
It’s nice to see that there’s one Republican Senator who hasn’t forgotten who his constituency is.
With the exception of McCain, the GOP is gearing up to fight again against any kind of address to the immigration problem.
The GOP grassroots activists, took great pride in having a hand in defeating the immigration reform bill when it appeared before the Senate in the summer and now they have already started mobilizing their members.
As an email sent out by the GOPUSA stated:
What is so frustrating about all of this is that bills such as these are such a slap in face to law-abiding Americans. The grassroots soundly rejected amnesty… illegal behavior and activities should not be rewarded! Yet politicians keep pushing and pushing — waiting for that moment when the grassroots isn’t paying attention, and then — BOOM — a bill is passed. We can’t let that happen!
An informed and motivated grassroots is the most powerful force in politics. We must continue to stay informed, and when the time comes for action, we must be ready. Congress needs to build the fence! Border security comes first.
From this portion of the email, it’s obvious they are cocky with their own perceived power â€” and that’s a lesson they’ve taught the rest of us very well.
There is power to be had among the grassroots, a.k.a. everyday people.
We’re seeing this in the Rio Grande Valley right now with organized protests against the building of the border wall.
We’ve seen it over the last couple of months with the hunger strikes staged by undocumented students.
Students who were raised in this country, and don’t understand why some Congressional leaders still refuse to acknowledge that they are more American than whatever nation holds their birth certificates.
The small, but vocal and tech-saavy activist group who turned the tide during the last Senate debate regarding the immigration issue were able to exaggerate the facts to fit their agenda – basically, by encouraging people to fear Hispanics.
Of course, they meant just the undocumented, but because our communities are so entwined with one another, there is no luxury of separating us into neat groups.
U.S. Latinos have never been a neat group 🙂
So, when this posse of GOP activists decided to target the undocumented, they unwittingly (or maybe wittingly) targeted all Hispanics that fit a certain profile.
Thankfully, we’re seeing signs that people are finally coming to their senses and are willing to listen to reason rather than to hysteria-whipping trolls.
In Arizona, a state that has been highly punitive against their undocumented immigrant population, and illegal immigration, comes word today that in Tucson, County Supervisors voted to unanimously reject Border Patrol Checkpoints.
And last week, they voted 4-1 in favor of re-funding the water stations maintained by Humane Borders.
In another part of the country, Riverside, New Jersey, which was a town that jumped on the bandwagon of anti-immigrant legislation in the wake of the lead of Hazelton, Pennsylvania, it is reported that town leaders have voted to rescind their anti-immigrant laws.
Each of these cases ended as they did because it was realized that these laws and ordinances were morally and ethically wrong in depriving and targeting the undocumented.
That they were passed in the first place is because a select minority made so much noise and stirred such fear that made people cave into the hysteria.
But eventually, all hysteria subsides and the reality of the situation prevails.
And what is this reality?
There are over 12 million undocumented who go about their business to make our businesses run.
They came illegally and couldn’t go through legal channels because our immigration system is broken to the point that they might never have gotten here and earned the kind of money that have lifted their families out of poverty.
There are roughly 60,000 students who want to be able to afford to go to college, legally work and put their degrees to use.
Where is the justice when these children, who are native Spanish-speakers, earn their degrees in bilingual education but can’t teach because they are not legal. Yet, US school districts are recruiting teachers from Spanish-speaking countries to teach bilngual education.
These teachers, unlike the students who were raised in this country and are perfectly bilingual, cannot be the role models that their pupils so desperately need.
For one important reason, these teachers from other countries aren’t American but the students with unused bilingual teaching certificates feel every bit American as the men and women in Washington deciding their fate.
There is a national effort to combat the efforts of those who are trying to derail Senate passage of the Dream Act.
There is only one way to get the Dream Act passed: Contact your Congressional representative and tell them to please vote for the Dream Act.
If you’re not sure how to contact your senators, or even who they are, check this directory and send emails and make phone calls because the students who would benefit from this bill deserve to be given a chance.