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I don’t want to join the military

February 7th, 2012 · 6 Comments

By Thay Alaffita

Since the DREAM Act was introduced for the first time in 2001, a decade ago, it has been changed, modified, and altered to something that vaguely resembles our dreams for the mere sake of catering to the Republicans’ needs and wants.

Granted we can’t all get what we want so we, DREAMers, understand the importance of meeting our opposition halfway – some DREAM Act is better than no DREAM Act.

Last year, during the lame duck session in December 2010, our hopes were high, and there was no opposition on our part to the modifications that were made to the original bill even though its new form left out a significant group of DREAMers who have been in the struggle since day one.

This new bill was more specific about the things that would constitute as “good moral standing”, it specified that having fixed status through the DREAM Act, DREAMers would never be able to petition for family members or loved ones, and it lowered the age cap (this amendment being the one affecting the DREAMers mentioned above who unfortunately, aged out of this new version).

Even so, these very DREAMers, the seniors in our movement, urged the passage of the DREAM Act in its new form and us to continue fighting, at this point it had become about the movement as a whole and not an individual interest.

However, our GOP presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have interesting opinions on the DREAM Act. They say if they become president they will support the DREAM Act, but only for those who join the military. Although there is a group of military DREAMers who would benefit from this form of the DREAM Act, there is a larger group of us who won’t. This suggestion is an insult to our movement, to our struggle, and to our DREAMers who have been fighting for equal education for all. All that Gingrinch and Romney are saying through this is that we are only useful for war, at the forefront, as cannonballs and ammunition, implying that we are not capable of anything else but going to war.

I have friends, both documented and undocumented, who want to join the military or are currently serving, but I don’t want to join the military! I am not cut out for that, I know I am not. All my life, since I could dream and wish, I’ve wanted to teach. Isn’t that profession just as noble as fighting and dying for your country? To wake up every morning and go to school and teach a bunch of kids what the pledge of allegiance means? Isn’t it just as noble to want to educate the future of America?

And not just teachers, but I have friends who want to be doctors, lawyers, architects, you name it. All these things would contribute to American in one way or another which in the end would make America well-rounded, fair, and just as it has always claimed to be. Don’t rob us of our dreams and incarcerate us more by forcing us to take drastic measures to be able to call America our home. Let us serve this country by becoming educated and contributing members of society. Let us choose how to give back, so long as we give back. Gingrich and Romney, please reconsider your stance on the DREAM Act, and think for a second that we are as American as you are, as your children are, and as your children’s children will be.

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Tags: Education · GOP · Immigration · Mitt Romney · Republican Party

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ayesha // Feb 7, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Wow, I love this. You couldn’t have said it better.

  • 2 HispanicPundit // Feb 8, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    I agree with most of what you said except one part: I think taking an ethnic studies class of any kind, especially Chicano Studies, should disqualify you from benefiting from the DREAM act. That would get my vote!

  • 3 Yostin // Feb 9, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Wow, I super love this article. This is clear, this is what I think as well. But I even identified myself more with this article becuase I am becoming a teacher like in two years more.

  • 4 ReyFeo // Feb 10, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    What‘s the alternatives Alaffita? Obama? You criticize the GOP candidates but not President Obama, who for TWO WHOLE YEARS had all he needed to push this through and DIDN’T, why?…BTW, you have choices if you have to serve; AF, Navy/Marines and or Army, and they need educators too…you can serve in an instructor’s role for four year and go about your newly earned citizenship. Also, where are you from? I ask simply to point out the fact most Latin American countries REQUIRE you serve your first two years out of, their equivalent of, High School in some kind of Police and or Military service (but not in a teachers role). So why ask to do something different here. And besides blanket amnesty isn’t go to sell with the country deeply divided over this issue, you will have to offer something to get what you want…I think the GOP should be given credit for at minimum suggesting some form of Dream Act given a set of met guidelines…again, what’s the alternatives, Obama getting it done…more promises I’m sure some of you will continue to fall for… por favor!

  • 5 Cristina // Feb 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Please read and share the story of Mr. Campos and his family. His eldest daughter Gabriela, is a straight A, DREAM Act eligible, student. Her dream is to become a pediatrician …help her and her family stay here.
    http://www.change.org/petitions/the-president-of-the-united-states-stop-deportation-of-jorge-campos
    “Our Venezuelan brothers are suffering a great tragedy, caused by the dictator, as it is called, Hugo Chavez, whom is causing problems both to South and Central America.” The objective, the Honduran added, is “to send a message more clear to the whole world of the great danger that is suffering democracy in Venezuela, where president Chavez, keep himself perpetuated in power like a dictator similarly to (the Cuban ex ruler) Fidel Castro and his companions. “We are going to tell throughout the Latin American community, that we are against the continuous violation of human and civil rights of the people that fight in favor of the Venezuelan democracy.” 

  • 6 creolechild // Jun 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    ReyFeo, there are three branches of government, which I’m sure you’re aware of. That being said, the president does not write laws…Congress does. Whatever you may think about the Democrats, they weren’t the ones who killed the Dream Act. Republicans and a handful of Democrats did using the filibuster to prevent progress on many fronts.

    But if you believe that Republicans such as Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney are at all interested in passing immigration reform that allows those who were born here and/or have lived here for years, with all due respect, you’re kidding yourself…

    “Senate Republicans and a handful of Democrats voted Saturday morning to block legislation that would grant legal residency to illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. before the age of 16.”

    “The DREAM Act, which would give legal status to illegal immigrants who came to the country at a young age, lived here for at least five years, earned a high school diploma or its equivalent, and attended college or served in the military, fell five votes short of the 60 needed to overcome a GOP-led filibuster — 55 to 41.”

    “Three Republicans — Sens. Robert Bennett (Utah), Dick Lugar (Ind.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) — voted to advance the legislation.”

    “Five Democrats voted no: Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), and Jon Tester (Mont.).”

    Source: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/134351-dream-act-defeated-in-senate

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