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The De Moines Register wrote a great editorial on the DREAM act. However the responses are so hateful, I don't want to post them here. You can be sure they would make you wince.
That leaves me with a question. Should we post the negative comments as long as they are not vulgar? How "fair" do we need to be to the other side. The whole thing has become something of a Western in reverse - with the media (with the help of Lou Dobbs) labeling pro-immigrants and DREAMERS as the bad guys and nativists as the good guys.
Regardless, it is good to have the support. Many U.S. newspapers have done the same. The editorial asks why can't the government support the DREAM act? Perhaps it is because as long as there are people who are very loud about how they hate immigrants - the politicians will follow the nativist lead.
It will be an interesting election this November.
for DMR editorial click here
Give undocumented grads a chance
The Register's editorial
De Moines Register
May 30, 2008
No one knows how many illegal immigrants are graduating from Iowa high schools this spring, but it's a sure thing Santiago Cordero, Wendy Razam and Gaby Campos are not the only ones.
The Register's Ken Fuson wrote about the frightening futures faced by the undocumented teenagers who received their diplomas at Postville's high school on Sunday afternoon. In the wake of the May 12 immigration raid in the small northeast Iowa town, they worry about what will happen to parents, brothers and sisters and what to do with their own lives now.
But even if federal agents had not stormed the Agricprocessors Inc. meat-processing plant, these youngsters would be up against a much harsher reality than most of their classmates.
Because their families brought them here illegally, they don't qualify for most financial aid for college, and they lack the valid Social Security numbers necessary to get a job on the up and up.
Across the United States, it's estimated that 65,000 undocumented children who have lived in the country for five years or more finish high school each year. They are legally entitled to a public education through 12grade because of a 1982 Supreme Court decision.
But then they are cast into the shadows. This not only is a cruel contradiction in public policy, but also limits the potential of young people who could contribute a great deal to the U.S. economy if allowed to pursue a path to citizenship.
Congress could fix this by passing the Dream Act, legislation first introduced in 2001. The Senate voted down the most recent version in October, 52 to 44. Sponsored by Richard Durbin of Illinois, the bill would have granted provisional legal status to undocumented students who finish high school if they go to college or serve in the military for two years. To qualify, they must have been brought to the United States as children, lived here at least five years and be of good moral character. After meeting the requirement to attend college or the military, they could apply for permanent legal status.
Opponents don't want to reward any sort of illegal immigration, even though it's not the fault of young people - mostly Hispanic - who had no choice in coming to the United States.
Or perhaps they don't want to reopen the divisive debate over America's broken immigration system, despite the clear need for reform, evidenced by the presence of an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants.
The Dream Act is just one part of a broad package of desperately needed reforms - including higher, realistic immigration quotas - but it is an important place to begin.
It would help offset an anticipated labor shortage and keep the country globally competitive. Instead, the United States invests in educating undocumented students in elementary and secondary schools, but gets too little in return.
It also would demonstrate compassion for young people who feel as if they are Americans. It's not much of an option for them to return to a home country that they don't know and whose language they may barely speak.
Imagine knowing that the door to a better life will slam shut when you are only 18. No wonder many illegal immigrants drop out of school long before high school graduation.
But others are hopeful, despite the anti-immigrant backlash. They go on to earn high school diplomas, like the three undocumented teenagers in Postville, who have said they hope to continue their education.
As Postville Superintendent David Strudthoff told the Register, they made the correct choice.
Why is it so hard for the nation's political leaders to do the same?
for DMR editorial click here