Tag Archives: DREAM Act

Quoted: Mandeep Chahal at the U.S. Capitol

My mom and I went to ICE last Tuesday, and as ordered we reported to be taken into custody. For a fleeting moment, I thought I might never see my friends again. But we were there less than two hours before ICE changed their minds and let us go.

And so I’m here. We’ve been granted a stay for one year. But that doesn’t change the fact that last week I was just hours away from being deported from my home.

As a student, I work hard. I’m in the honors program at one of the country’s top public universities, and I’m on track to go to medical school. I plan to spend my life working for the public good in the United States of America.

If it took this, for me, to stay in my country, then something is wrong. It shouldn’t be this hard.

President Obama has made it clear that he fully supports the DREAM Act. He has even said that its failure to pass has been one his biggest disappointments as President.

And yet, he hasn’t acted. He has the power to stop the deportations of people like me. He can bring relief so that no family has to go through what mine has. He can end our pain, but he is still deporting DREAMers.

Full transcript available at America’s Voice

Fox News Can’t Decide Whether to Love or Hate Latinos

By Guest Contributor Jorge Rivas, cross-posted from Colorlines

Fox News Latino has only been around for a few months, but it’s already become a hotbed of controversy. It’s less than a year old, and was created to target Latino audiences with news from both the U.S. and Central and South America. Yet while the it does the uncomfortable dance of trying to court more Latino viewers, that effort likely gets swallowed by the larger network’s venomous approach to important issues like the DREAM Act and border violence. Now, Media Matters is pushing for the network to make up its mind.

Fox News is the most-watched cable news channel in the country. In 2009-2010 the network surpassed CNN and MSNBC’s weekly viewership. A study released this week by Public Policy Polling found that PBS is the most trusted news outlet the U.S., followed by Fox News. (Fox News is the second-most trusted network, but also the most distrusted one, with 42 percent trusting it and 46 percent not trusting it.)

Last month they ran a story saying Spanish Actress Penélope Cruz was going to give birth to an “anchor baby,” but after some uproar from a group of Latino conservatives Fox News retracted the entire story, and today there is no sign of the story on their site.

Back when the network launched its Latino website, its leadership seemed optimistic.

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Dream Act Moves On To Senate Vote Thursday

By Arturo R. García

After narrowly making it through the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday, the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act will now be up for vote in the Senate, where it’s likely to run headlong into a Republican party filibuster. As Rep. Lamar Smith, R-TX, told CNN:

Mass amnesty is not the only problem with the DREAM Act … The bill allows illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition at public universities, placing them ahead of U.S. citizens. The bill also is a magnet for fraud.

Of course, Mr. Smith’s definition of “ahead of” is in question: the act specifies that to even be eligible for said tuition – and not in the form of grants, but in college loans and work-study credits – not only would each student eligible under DREAM have to apply for a six-year conditional residency program, but would have to either complete two years’ worth of college courses or military service, and would not be able to apply for conditional residency until 5.5 years into the program, provided he or she maintains “good moral character.”

As this deals with immigration, much of the reporting and rhetoric concerning DREAM has, as is now customary, focused on immigrants from Latin American countries. But as this video Angry Asian Man posted reminds us, there are other communities involved.

As AAM notes, you can call your Senators at 866-996-5161 to express your feelings about the DREAM act.

Illegal immigrants ‘are all over my house’

By Guest Contributor Tomas Summers Sandoval, cross-posted from Latino Like Me

Colin Powell appeared on “Meet the Press” (9/19/10) and spoke about a Republican party he described as “waiting to emerge once again,” a party of moderates who are more balanced in their approach to several issues, including immigration.

Here is the section of his interview where he responds to the opportunistic xenophobia that is currently the preferred stance on immigration within the GOP:

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DREAM Act & Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Not Moving Forward as Part of Defense Bill

By Guest Contributor Maegan La Mala, cross-posted from VivirLatino

After an emotional buildup for many towards the 2:30 pm EST hour Tuesday, when the U.S. Senate voted, 56-43, against a motion to proceed on the National Defense Authorization Act. This shut down the possibility of the DREAM Act and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell being presented as amendments to the Defense bill. All Republican senators voted against cloture and two Democrats, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, both of Arkansas.

Up to the moment of the vote, I watched U.S. Senators, all white old men, talk about gays in the military. Republican Senators like John McCain danced around their homophobia by saying they didn’t want to add DADT because the military hadn’t had a chance to do polling about the impact on combat readiness if there were out lgbt folks in the armed forces. Other Republicans looked at the DREAM Act in one of two ways : a ploy by Senate Majority Harry Reid to get the Latino vote and/or a version of “amnesty” for some undocumented.

Despite my expressed concerns about the DREAM Act and it’s attachment to a military bill, it was my knowledge of the many young people fighting to legalize their status, that had me upset after the Senate vote yesterday. I can’t imagine the moment of heartbreak after so much work, struggle y corazon, after putting their freedom on the line and at times their health and well being.

Pero as with comprehensive immigration reform, and all other struggles, a vote in the legislature, a bill, a law is not what will bring about justice. It is not the end all and be all in the lives of freedom fighters. In fact, quite the opposite. It needs to be utilized , yes but as past of a larger strategy to move pa’lante.

There is a push now to have the DREAM Act presented as a stand-alone bill by Harry Reid. Whether he will do it or not, especially whether he will do it before elections in November is about what/who he fears more. Does he fear the Latino vote not turning out for him because he didn’t do all he could do? Or does he fear Republicans who will cry “amnesty” and see young brown people in pursuit of their own future as a threat?

Image courtesy of ThinkProgress