The Big DREAM Act Showdown!

December 1st, 2010 · 6 Comments

The next few days will be very important for the immigrant and by extension larger Latino communities as the DREAM Act vote comes up. For up to date info, follow @DREAMAct on twitter. has a pretty good whip count of Senators who are against the DREAM Act, almost certainly against, likely against and unknown, etc. Call your Senators today and tomorrow at 1-866-996-5161, and forward this information to your friends who support immigrant youth so they can make calls as well. I have posted actions alerts and plenty of information about the DREAM act within the past two years all over this blog, so there aren’t a shortage of arguments and compelling reasons why this legislation should be enacted and delivered to the President’s desk.

Last night we found out that another version of the DREAM Act will be introduced by Senator Hagan, but it’s still Senator Durbin’s bill. Senator Durbin has been one of the champions of the DREAM Act from the get go. This particular version increases the years of temporary status and lowers the age cap, but this bill does have a provision that allows for waivers. This is what we learned:

“The new bill is a bit different from the current version, but not by that much. Everything is the same but the changes are pretty much:

– 10 years of temporary status vs. the previous 6 years
— Specifically barring DREAMers from access to health care subsidies etc.
— Age cap is 30 vs. the previous of 35
— Removal of the language that would have not punished states for providing in-state tuition.”

This change is part of the horse trading likely to take place unfortunately, but we have to continue to put the pressure on the Senators who aren’t firm “no” votes and even continue to press those who are probably in the “no” column.

Today in Texas, DREAMers who have been hunger striking have been attempting to meet with Senator Hutchison’s staff, but her personnel locked the doors on the students. Despite discouraging signals like this, undocumented youth activists and their allies are still moving forward.

Tags: community organizing and activism · Education · Immigration

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tweets that mention The Big DREAM Act Showdown! -- // Dec 1, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by LatinoPolitics, Patt Kaplan and Angelo Paparelli, wendycarrillo. wendycarrillo said: RT @LatinoPolitics: The Big DREAM Act Showdown!: #dreamact #immigration […]

  • 2 Anna // Dec 2, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Re: “Age cap is 30 vs. the previous of 35″

    I would fight to keep the cap at 35. Lowering it isn’t going win over any votes, and losing it will cut off thousands of people who could have been legalized.

  • 3 Anna // Dec 2, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    This photo is heartbreaking.

  • 4 Rosa Maria Catalina // Dec 3, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Like a Thief in the Night: The Dream Act Price
    Denouncing our Parents, Sending our Brothers and Sisters to the Slaughter

    A friend sent me an email asking me that I show my support for the Dream Act by calling my local representative and asking that he/she vote to “pass it during this lame duck session of Congress.” My friend did so despite knowing that I do not support the Dream Act. Nonetheless, I read the entire email. Two things caught my attention: the emphasis made to passage of the legislation during “this lame duck session of Congress” and The White House Blog listed as one of the many websites where I could get further information. Much of my commentary is as a result of having read The White House Blog.
    Anyone who has ever read or heard of Richard Rodriguez’s Hunger of Memory may recall the controversy that the novel created, especially about bilingual education. If Latinos were into book-burning, I am sure that his would have been among the ones thrown into the fiery pit. However, what was most alarming to me as a college student at the time that I read the novel in one of my English literature courses was not that Rodriguez did not support bilingual education. What disturbed me was the price he had to pay for the “Education Dream,” or shall I say, the price he thought he had to pay to receive an education. And what was that price? Give up his language, his culture, his ethnic identity, and even his parents. A price that his parents seemed to have been willing to pay as well.
    To quote from one of the most poignant scenes in the book when the Catholic nuns visit the Rodriguez family, “’Is it possible for you and your husband to encourage your children to practice their English when they are at home?’ Of course, my parents complied. What would they not do for their children’s well-being? And how could they have questioned the Church’s authority which those women represented? In an instant, they agreed to give up the language (the sounds) that had revealed and accentuated our family’s closeness. The moment after the visitors left, the change was observed, ‘Ahora, speak to us en ingles,’ my father and mother united to tell us.”
    Now let us take that same scenario and apply it to the Dream Act: “’You will agree Mr. and Mrs. Rodriguez that through no fault of their own your children are not able to attend college. You brought them here illegally. You brought them here without their consent when they were babies. You do not want them to be held responsible for your illegal actions, do you? No, I think not. But, Mr. and Mrs. Rodriguez, you can still provide your children with the quality education that you have always dreamt of giving them, if you and your children will agree to the following conditions: First, your children must publically denounce your illegal actions. Second, while we can grant your children legal status, you will have to wait to receive yours. How long, you ask. The details of that are forthcoming. Will you be deported once your children publically denounce your illegal immigration? Let us not worry about that for now, Mr. and Mrs. Rodriguez. It is your children that are most important here, would you not agree? And our last condition, Mr. and Mrs. Rodriguez, and, this is the most important, you must encourage your children to agree to serve in the military.’ Of course, my parents agreed. Lo que no hubieran hecho nuestros padres por sus hijos. That and more they would have done for their children. And how could they have questioned the government’s authority which those elected officials represented? In an instant, they agreed to give up their children over to the government. The moment after the representatives left, my father and mother granted us permission to denounce their illegal actions, ‘Ahora, vayan y denuncienos’.”
    I remember that one of the many labels given to Rodriguez at the time when his book first came out was “sell out.” By publically denouncing their parents’ illegal immigration to this country, have these vulnerable children not also sold out their parents for an opportunity to attend Harvard, Yale, Berkeley? What is the conversation like around the dinner table between these vulnerable children who have had to turn in their parents for bringing them into this country without their consent and their parents who have agreed to play the villain in this dream story? Have the “best and brightest” of these illegal immigrant children not sold out as well the hundreds that will have to serve in the military because through no fault of their own they will not all be admitted into the ivy leagues? If the government were interested in recruiting the “best and the brightest” into the military, why do they not recruit in the nation’s most affluent school districts? Why do they continue to recruit in the most impoverished? Are not the men and women of color who serve in the armed forces, especially Latinos, overrepresented in the front lines?
    And so like a thief in the night, during this lame duck period, when we are asleep, the government will come and take our children. Some will attend this nation’s finest universities. They will become outstanding tax-paying citizens. Hundreds, like sheep to the slaughter, will serve as carne de canon. Degrees sealed in our brothers and sisters’ blood.

  • 5 Robert // Dec 3, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    The Dream Act is a nightmire for American’s jobs, not to mention what it will cost the US when the rest of the third world finds out these people were given amnesty and millions more poor uneducated migrants pour over our borders. No wonder the US is becoming a third world country. Wake up America!

  • 6 Anna // Dec 3, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Rosa, your article sounds like conservative propaganda. First of all, the only choice is not an Ivy League school or the military. They can attend two year colleges, and if I’m not mistaken, trade schools. I don’t like the idea of the military preying on kids who are vulnerable, but the only reason this bill has any government support is because of the military component. And has it ever occurred to you that some people want to enlist in the military? Also, nobody would be forced to sign up for the Dream Act if it passes.

    As for Richard Rodriguez, that no longer applies today. He grew up in WASP Palo Alto in the 1940s and 50s.

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