Colorlines had this story:
The DREAM Act would put young undocumented immigrants with a clean criminal record on a long path to citizenship if they commit two years to the military or higher education. In order to qualify, young people must have lived in the country for at least five years, entered the country before the age of 16 and still be under 30 years old. The bill passed the House earlier this month.
In the end, the bill, which has always enjoyed bipartisan support, actually got enough Republican votes to secure its passage. But the Democratic caucus disintegrated when North Carolina’s Kay Hagan, Arkansas’ Jon Pryor, Montana’s Max Baucus and Jon Tester, and Nebraska’s Ben Nelson all voted against ending debate on the bill. Meanwhile, some key Republicans voted for the DREAM Act: Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, Richard Lugar from Indiana and outgoing Sen. Bob Bennett from Utah.
There is a lot of celebrating today, and rightly so.
But for many today is a day of “a dream deferred”. Let us hope that the words of Langston Hughes are not prophetic – and it is our job – all of us, to see that doesn’t happen.
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
There will be an explosion here in America if we continue to ignore a population that is part of the fabric of this country. Latinos. Immigrants from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.
As Democrats we need to now “deal with our own”. The Democrats who voted against this bill.
But as progressives we all also need to wake up and understand the depths of the right wing movements hatred of all things Hispanic, immigrants of color and the organized efforts against not only the Dream act, but behind anti-latino and immigrant rhetoric.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has this to say about The Tanton Network:
The organized anti-immigration “movement” is almost entirely the handiwork of one man, Michigan activist John H. Tanton.
Here is a list of 13 groups in the loose-knit Tanton network, followed by acronyms if the groups use them, founding dates, and Tanton’s role in the groups.
Those organizations designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center are marked with an asterisk (*).
In this list, “founded” means a group was founded or co-founded by John Tanton. “Funded” means that U.S. Inc., the funding conduit created and still headed by Tanton, has made grants to the group.
*American Immigration Control Foundation
AICF, 1983, funded
*American Patrol/Voice of Citizens Together
*California Coalition for Immigration Reform
CCIR, 1994, funded
Californians for Population Stabilization
1996, funded (founded separately in 1986)
Center for Immigration Studies
CIS, 1985, founded and funded
*Federation for American Immigration Reform
FAIR, 1979, founded and funded
1996, founded and funded
1973, joined board in 1980
1994, founded and funded
*The Social Contract Press
1990, founded and funded
1983, founded and funded
1982, founded and funded
Watch this video:
So on a day that we celebrate DADT, I ask that you each make a commitment to work harder to secure civil and human rights in the US for latinos and immigrants.
President Obama said:
In an incredibly disappointing vote today, a minority of Senators prevented the Senate from doing what most Americans understand is best for the country. As I said last week, when the House passed the DREAM Act, it is not only the right thing to do for talented young people who seek to serve a country they know as their own, it is the right thing for the United States of America. Our nation is enriched by their talents and would benefit from the success of their efforts. The DREAM Act is important to our economic competitiveness, military readiness, and law enforcement efforts. And as the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported, the DREAM Act would cut the deficit by $2.2 billion over the next 10 years. There was simply no reason not to pass this important legislation.
But this is a battle that goes beyond the President and the Senate and Congress.
It is one that each of us has to become involved in.
Pa’lante Siempre Pa’lante
Here are numbers to call:
* Arkansas – Mark Pryor – (202) 224-6342
* Montana (2) – Max Baucus – (202) 224-2651
* Montana (1) – Jon Tester – (202) 224-2644
* Nebraska – Ben Nelson – (202) 224-6551
* North Carolina – Kay Hagan – (202) 224-6342