Friday, September 25, 2009

A Reaction

I have been appalled at the quantity of vitriol and misinformation that is apparent in all media outlets regarding the efforts to increase support for DREAM Act and immigration reform. Not surprised, mind you, but sincerely taken aback. I know it is common practice to blame others for whatever current wrong ails the country, especially if those others speak funny and look different. Common, and ignorant, yet has not stopped us from committing that particular wrong time and again throughout our history.
Every single immigrant group has been a target for discrimination and outright abuse, condoned by our government. From the 19th century to the present there has been public and active opposition to each successive incoming group. We had anti Germans, anti Irish, anti Chinese, anti Italian, anti Polish, anti Jews, anti Japanese groups. Yet as a nation we overcame those nativist fits and those groups are now firmly part of the American melting pot. This latest and virulent outpouring of anti immigration hate represents ( I hope) another growing pain for our nation.

All the arguments commonly employed against immigration fail miserably when used against students who stand to benefit from the DREAM Act. They speak the language and are clearly assimilated and have amply proven their ability and resourcefulness. No services and education were "stolen" as some anti groups claim- they improve the economy since they spend money on products and services just like everybody else, and property, state and federal income taxes have been paid by the majority.Rather the reverse holds true as services funded have NOT been used.And DREAMers do not take employment away rather they increase the quality of the workforce by raising the bar.

Instead of closing your minds against the thousands of students that through no fault or choice of their own find themselves in this undocumented limbo, please understand the issue at hand.DREAM students may not have been born in the US but they are as thoroughly American as any born citizen. Their achievements in the face of adversity embody the American spirit and are worthy of admiration.

Imagine for a minute being ripped from your home and dropped in a place you may not even have a memory of, where you may only know the rudiments of the language,where you have no resources or support. If we saw the story of a young American stranded in these conditions we would demand immediate rescue. Yet those of you that stand in pig headed righteousness, screaming Illegal is ILLEGAL! SEND THEM BACK! are calling to do exactly that- EXILE young Americans. They are raised and educated and lived AS AMERICANS. And they are acting upon they values they have absorbed. Fighting for what is just and fair and morally right and to not give up. Is that not the quality of citizen you want working to improve our nation? Or do you prefer the kind that sits around and whines about how bad things are and looks for scapegoats?

By disenfranchising DREAMers and barring access to full integration we are cheating ourselves out of their abilities and education and throwing away the investment we've already made. We lose thousands that could be hardworking full contributors to our society. The human cost alone is entirely unbearable and unacceptable
The DREAM Act is a fair and humane way to both correct one of the many dysfunctionalities in the broken immigration system and would allow us to reap the immense promise and ability these students represent. PASS THE DREAM ACT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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