The DREAM Act is up for a vote in Congress today. This vote is pretty crucial in terms of taking a step towards real immigration reform and ending what’s becoming a de facto second class citizenship apartheid, in my opinion. Here’s the straight up from Adam Serwer (JJP alum!) over at American Prospect:
John McCain has co-sponsored several previous versions of the DREAM Act, including the far more liberal 2003 version that didn’t have an age cap. The much narrower legislation under consideration this year, which would offer a path to citizenship for immigrants who are college-bound and willing to serve the military now has a cutoff age of 29, eliminating the incentive for children to force their parents across the border so they can do well in school or join the U.S. military.
Among those to whom McCain promised support of the bill was DREAM activist Gaby Pacheco. This, according to Elise Foley, is how he responds to her now:
A few days before the Senate left for the Thanksgiving break, Pacheco met the new McCain when she tried to lobby him on the DREAM Act, the bill he’d once championed.
When Pacheco approached McCain, she said, he dismissed her and threatened to call the Capitol Police on her if she continued to follow him.
As he entered an elevator, the DREAM Act supporters told the senator that all they want is to serve their country.
“Go serve them then,” McCain told them, according to Pacheco.
Nice. McCain isn’t the only Republican opposed to a far less ambitious DREAM Act now that chief socialist Obama is in charge, the list of 2003 co-sponsors includes several senators still in Congress, including Susan Collins, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, Richard Lugar, and now-opposed Democrat Mark Pryor.
So basically Sen. John McCain told some kids who entered this country with their parents (not of their own choice) and have lived in this country almost their entire lives who want to go to college or serve in the military as good citizens:
“Go back to Mexico, wetbacks. If it weren’t for you, maybe I’d be president.”
Ok he didn’t actually say that. But he might as well have. Boy the GOP must really not want any Latinos or Asian-Americans or a new wave of people of African descent whose communities are most impacted by our immigration stalemate to vote for them…ever.
Furthermore, if we hope to see Barack Obama have a second term, this is a critical vote to maintain the coalition of African-Americans, enough cool white people and basically most of every other ethnicity in America who voted for him in round one. If you want to have the Prez’s back on this, please call the House: 866-967-6018 and the Senate: 866-996-5161 right now. Our community knows the damage of a dream deferred. Let’s not stand by and allow discrimination to stand on our watch.
(Full disclosure: One of my clients at Fission Strategy is Reform Immigration FOR America because I believe so passionately that reform is needed now for a stronger, fairer, more prosperous America. They did not ask me to write this post.)
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