The longer our elected officials fail to fix the immigration system and the more they work to oppress immigrants the more young people are driven to take action to protect their rights and the rights of their families. Their inaction and delays create more organizers by the day and by the hour.
Our representatives inability to do anything about effective immigration reform for decades and their apathy toward the plight of Dreamers has given rise to a new, activist generation of organizers, bloggers and future political stars.
I have witnessed this in my own state. Young people who have never been involved politically before are working across traditional party lines to bring about the Dream Act. They are coordinating with organizations across the country, phone banking, sitting in, rallying, writing press releases, and reaching out to immigrant communities. They are learning senate, house and electoral procedures.
We are seeing this scenario played out in state after state on not only the DREAM Act but on state legislation that affects immigrants, minorities and youth. The same young people fighting for the Dream are now organizing to prevent Arizona like legislation from passing in 11 other states and thus fighting to prevent discrimination against all minorities.
Is it possible with the advent of their participation we are witnessing a political suicide amongst reps opposing the DREAM act? Our representatives are seemingly blind to the future movers and shakers standing in their offices demanding answers. Are they blinded by power or is it something more sinister?
Regardless of what happens with the DREAM Act this gives me hope. These newly initiated organizers will continue to plug away at immigration reforms and organize allies and their own communities come election time. They will get involved in political parties and act as advocates in their own state houses for decades to come.
Representatives would be wise to pay attention to the youth that are suddenly paying attention to the way they vote. Their mistake is assuming that undocumented youth are the only people organizing around this issue and they cannot vote and they risk deportation. Their assumptions are dead wrong. As these young organizers work to preserve their futures in the country they love they build a base of support extending far outside their own neighborhoods and become political insiders. Add to this the amount of time they have when they graduate from college and are unable to work. The more reps vote against the legalization of undocumented youth the more they set in stone their own political downfall.
Like I said; they give me hope.