Rep. Joe Baca & his “version” of the DREAM Act

July 25th, 2009 · 10 Comments

The following is another guest blog post by Sorjuana. Recently, I have blogged about Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s failure to co-sponsor the DREAM Act, despite it being supported by both Republicans and Democrats and by the City Council of Santa Ana (symbolically). Well, now we are experiencing something similar with Rep. Joe Baca, who also will not sign on as a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act. The DREAM Activist has a pretty good blog post up at about how Rep. Baca’s effort is not a substitute for the DREAM Act.

In my view, Baca and Sanchez’s actions reveal a pattern of incompetence that we have seen with some members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Earlier this week, I read how the Congressional Black Caucus pushed back against the Blue Dog coalition of Democrats who are jeopardizing the public option with health care reform, but I did not hear of any similar action by the Hispanic Caucus. The DREAM Act is a piece of legislation that would help so many young Latinos, who would likely turn into voters and supporters of the politicians who support such an effort, but some of our electeds obviously don’t see the long term benefit. Without further commentary on my end, here are Sorjuana’s thoughts:

The problem with out of touch members of Congress is that they forget why they chose a life of public service.

Take for example, Congressman Joe Baca (D-CA) representing the 43rd Congressional District. As a Hispanic leader, Joe (can we call you Joe, Joe?), has chaired the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and has received numerous awards.

A quick Wiki search of him reveals a different side of Joe, one that alleges misuse of campaign funds and a gambit of other not so flattering tidbits, including the time Joe called the very colorful Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) a “whore.”

That being said, Joe is at it again. Just a few weeks ago, Joe introduced the People Resolved to Obtain an Understanding of Democracy (PROUD) Act (H.R. 2681). According to his own press release, the bill “mandates that any high school graduate who can furnish transcripts proving completion of grades 6 through 12, displays an understanding of United States history, government and civics, and can prove they are of good moral character be allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship.”

Sounds all fine and dandy with the exception of one thing, the PROUD Act does nothing, if not hurt the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, a bill that was introduced to both the House and U.S Senate on March 26, 2009, and has the support of thousands of students and hundreds of organizations.

The Dream Act, in its many revisions, would allow a pathway to citizenship for undocumented students of any race, ethnicity or background, that have met the specific criteria as outlined in the bill and that will continue to their commitment to becoming full members of American society by either going to college or joining the nation’s military.

Most urgently, it allows for an age grace period, whereby students currently working to get the DREAM Act passed, can still benefit from it’s passing if they are between the ages of 12 – 35.

The PROUD Act, with its age and grade limitations up to high school, limits the inclusion of thousands of eager young people who have already graduated from American high schools and are currently attending college under the radar or are wishing to enroll in the military.

Instead of writing a new piece of legislation that is limited and age discriminatory, why doesn’t Congressman Joe Baca simply co-sponsor the current DREAM Act?

Why start from scratch? Is it because he is seeking name recognition for his upcoming re-election? Is it because he cares so deeply about undocumented students? Or is it because he wants to leave a legacy behind that is bigger in his head than in real life?

Joe – get it together. Co-sponsor the DREAM Act (and ask Loretta to join you while you are at it).  Trust me when I say this song is not about you. You were elected by the people, it’s time you represented their needs.

Tags: Congressman Joe Baca · Education · health care · Immigration · Rep. Loretta Sanchez

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 6monkeyrs // Jul 27, 2009 at 6:19 am

    What to do, what to do….

    I support the DREAM Act…but PROUD Act is more promising.

    As for Congressman Joe Baca, I think that he want to address an age limit, and may have a higher chance of passing.

    Either way, this funding, will be left again to the states. As in-state tuition is already address on the three largest states in the Union each covering more than half of this country’s population. This only will provide a means of federal grants not otherwise there. May provide some relief, but like all federal programs, it can be cut.

    I may be wrong, but those are my 2 pesos…

  • 2 Prerna // Jul 27, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Lol, the PROUD Act is NEVER going to even be considered, forget about being promising.

    Joe and Loretta and Velasquez et. al need to get their act together. They are obviously cohorting to divide the DREAM Act movement — not that it is going to happen.

  • 3 kyledeb // Jul 27, 2009 at 10:54 am

    The PROUD Act would not have a better chance of passing. It is a bad bill, introduced at a bad time.

  • 4 jammer // Jul 27, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Joe Baca always seems to have his head in some other parallel universe because he can’t get it together here on this earth. It is so unbelievable that he keeps getting sent to Congress. Support the Dream Act Joe! Do something right for a change. If you are still stymied as to what the Dream Act is about, I’ll send a AB540 student to explain it to you.

  • 5 El Cholo // Jul 29, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Well…it’s safe to say there’s not much going on in Working Joe Baca’s head to begin with. This PROUD Act is another Working Joe Baca attempt to circumvent current and similar legislation (Dream Act) that already has support of WASP and Black politicians, but not the vast majority of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and claim authorship. How original Working Joe! And we wonder why the U.S. House of Representatives regards representation by Spanish named Congressional representatives as half-measures, and totally self-serving. Here’s a good example of why the content of one’s character should exceed the ethnic origins of one’s last name. This sure doesn’t say much for the intelligence of the voters in the Congressional 43rd district of California.

  • 6 Michaelr // Aug 5, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Joe Baca should personally thank Loretta Sanchez, Sarah Palin, and Mark Sanford for all the brain farts that they have cut loose on network, cable, and CyberSpace media outlets. Because if those public servants hadn’t passed all this gas on the airwaves, the world would know how incredibly stupid you really are.

  • 7 Has Obama “dropped the ball” on immigration? // Sep 27, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    […] to the White House, that are going to get the immigration train moving. We can’t even get Joe Baca and Loretta Sanchez to formally back the DREAM Act with co-sponsorship, which would be a great […]

  • 8 La Frontera Times – Latino Politics: Has Obama Dropped the Ball on Immigration? Did He Ever have the Ball? // Oct 3, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    […] letters to the White House, that are going to get the immigration train moving. We can’t even get Joe Baca and Loretta Sanchez to formally back the DREAM Act with co-sponsorship, which would be a great […]

  • 9 Only Way to Stop AZ SB 1070 and Spreading across USA: Immigration Reform | Hispanic News // May 25, 2010 at 11:10 am

    […] to believe Joe Baca and Loretta Sanchez refuse to formally back the DREAM Act with […]

  • 10 Anthony V // Jul 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    I agree and tried to run against Joe and the system, came up short (money & votes).

    What’s next ? check out my facebook and website.

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