Letter: Dreaming of a Dream Act
Nobody wants a clean, comprehensive Dream Act more than I do. Thinking about the fear instilled in my many immigrant friends by the recent racist and patently un-American immigration crackdown breaks my heart. When I see them, I want to say, “On behalf of the United States, I’m sorry.”
The Democrats and Republicans with large Latino constituencies, like Sen. Cory Gardner, tried to get the Dream Act approved by tying it as a rider on the spending bill. I know that’s the way the game is played in Washington, but like filibustering and the “nuclear option,” it is wrong and should be outlawed.
The spending bill has passed and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised to take up the issue of immigration in mid-February. Why anybody would trust the man who blocked Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court from even getting a hearing, then got Neil Gorsuch’s nomination approved by using the nuclear option and bullied Sen. Elizabeth Warren off the podium when she tried to quote Coretta Scott King on Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions’ racism is beyond me. McConnell is a master politician; in another word, a cheat.
Anyway, I would be pleased to see the Dream Act and overall immigration reform come before Congress on its own. Such a bill should contain the following:
1. No stupid and ultimately ineffective wall. No wall or increased border security is going to keep out people like El Chapo. They have so much money they can bribe any border guard or ICE agent.
El Chapo is an outlier, anyway. FBI statistics show the crime rate among immigrants is only slightly higher than for the rest of the population, which is remarkable when you consider immigrants generally come from the lower income brackets where crime is usually more prevalent. Mexicans are very law-and-order-minded people.
Republicans must not have studied history. The Great Wall of China, Hadrian’s Wall, and the Berlin Wall were abject failures.
2. No unusual restrictions on relatives joining their family in this country. Any such move would be incredibly inhumane. Is breaking up families one of our nation’s goals? Mexicans are very family oriented.
3. A pathway to citizenship. Currently, that is next to impossible. You need to be a legal resident for citizenship and the wait for that kind of visa can be as much as 20 years. There is a quota for each country and the quota for Mexico fills up in a hurry.
4. No merit-based criteria. That could too easily be used to justify a whites-only rule.
5. Open the gates. You wanna work, welcome.
Is this a pipe dream? Getting a bill like this past the fascist House Freedom Caucus could be tough. What a misnomer! These people are against every definition of freedom I can think of. However, there may be enough Republicans with large Latino constituencies to get the job done. There’s gonna have to be enough to override a veto from Trump, too.
Fred Malo Jr.
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