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I personally have never seen such a piece of legislation, like the DREAM Act, discussed by so many Latino families I know, including my own, so I think it is safe to say this was happening across the country.  The bill had the overwhelming support of Latinos throughout the nation and a majority, though slim, of most other Americans.  The DREAM Act saw different organizations; congregations, some Republican Senators, Somos Republicans and many more support its passage.  Most importantly the vote held many, many young Hispanics, the fastest growing segment of the U.S population, enraptured - watching and hearing friends, families and sibling’s cry as the vote went against the measure.

So as the Senator’s spoke against the bill, like Sen. Jeff Sessions, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Mitch McConnell, you were also watching them at the twilight of their power and know the likes of them let alone a majority will not be in power in future legislative sessions.  Not one of the Republican Senator’s who spoke against the measure could muster any kind words about the students themselves, regardless of how they would vote later.  The insult was audible almost as loud as the NAY vote itself.  Be prepared to hear the Hispanic legislative class of 2018 and many to come after that, when there will be more Latino’s in Congress, say they were moved to political life by this vote.

Many Hispanics that have no skin in the game supported this bill for profoundly personal and emotional reasons that defy logic to others, except that we simply recognize these students as one of our own and claim them as such, even when certain sectors of the U.S. refused to do so.  I like so many other native born Hispanics were touched and overwhelmed by the number of undocumented students who came out of the shadows at a great risk to advocate for their dream.  We will be forever moved by students on their knees outside the Senator floor praying and crying, by watching the Texas hunger strikers plead for respect and if these students never get the right to vote, we will vote on their behalf for the DREAM that wasn’t.  Hispanic Americans do not hold these children accountable for the crimes, crimes of desperation, of their parents, which typically is the case in most civilized nations yet this nation did so with this vote.

As they came out of the shadows with nowhere to hide they quickly realized this was a time when an American Dream wasn’t enough, that the political winds were against them and the nation of big shoulders was too weary to help them out or even say welcome.  Yet these self-made survivors preserved.

They came to see that a cause they saw as essential and others as noble were viewed by some only in terms of ‘illegality’ and as a ‘risk to national security’.  Yet they preserved this group holding unused and unmatched ambition.

Will their Act Two return them to the shadows? I think not, though now in year ten of their struggle they are energized and very organized.  Because along the way they were lauded, applauded and supported by unlikely constituencies to make them hope and see this as a Dream deferred.

And before hope could fully fade from them and tears dry, there was the vote to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, a victory seventeen years in the making and at that moment the DREAMers could dream again because as Senator Joe Lieberman so aptly said: “When a barrier falls for one group of American’s the door opens to another group.”

Estelle Gonzales Walgreen For Hispanically Speaking News

Originally posted to HS News on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 09:00 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  What a Bunch Of Scrooges the Republican (0+ / 0-)

      Senate is. To deny the Dream Act Children!

      I tried to tell them, but now I see how it really is!
      Turning away Children at Christmas!
      Certainly a Very Unchristian Act, while, so many Republicans pride
      themselves, for their Chrisian ethics!

      (Pride, being the key word here)!

      I have no idea what made me think that maybe, a lot of the stories I was hearing about how drastically the republican party has changed again, in the past twenty or so years, for the worse, could be exaggerated.
      Everyone getting blamed for some, etc

      I said to myself, there must be good humane Republicans too.

      I guess I was wrong!

      Click (On Top) Title-Calling All Crows
      Otherwise It Will Take You To State Radio

      Now I'm Mad, because denying passing this Act, was cruel and dishonest (Dream Act Kids Are No Threat To Homeland Security)!

      Let Round Three Begin.
      I'm with you all the way!
      ga*

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga* Be The Change You Want To See In The World. Ghandi

      by rebel ga on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 09:38:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We'll see next year when the pandering begins (5+ / 0-)

    My hope is that the community remembers and mobilizes.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 09:10:12 AM PST

    •  Double digit unemployment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IT Professional

      If unemployment goes back to Clinton administration levels; this bill could make a comeback.

      How about a clause in the DREAM Act that says that the employers of the beneficiaries' parents have to pay a fine and go to jail for having hiring undocumented immigrants?

    •  So are you saying Dream Act Children (0+ / 0-)

      Have To Wait Another Year for this to get voted on again?

      You are so right zenbassoon, the community should start mobilizing, starting today!

      Web pages, tv interviews, letters to major newspapers, magazines, etc.
      Contact Government

      I don't know other things I'm sure you all know how to protest peacefully and correctly, to keep this in the view of the American Public.
      This year was the first time I'd heard of The Dream Act.

      Get it out there. Recruit influential supporters.
      Keep the public informed. Get the word out!

      Anything you think of, I'll help you advertise.
      Call or Email Your Elected Officials And Keep Contacting Them And Telling Them That Passing The Dream Act Is The Moral And Right Thing To Do!

      The DREAM Act-We Won't Give Up!

      Dream Act Children Are Great Kids!
      I Wish You All Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa And Everything Good Like You Deserve!

      I'm on your side!
      ga*

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga* Be The Change You Want To See In The World. Ghandi

      by rebel ga on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 10:46:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Latinos together (2+ / 0-)

    It always makes me curious what exactly it is that makes Latinos come together consistently on immigration. It's not surprising, of course, but what maybe is surprising is that there are studies that show even second- and maybe third-generation Latino immigrants, or Latinos who speak English as their first language, being strongly on one side of the issue. Is it that they have family members directly affected? But the statistics lead me to doubt that as the only explanation; many don't apparently have family members affected. So what then is the explanation? And do other immigrant groups hold similar opinions?

    •  Bear in mind (5+ / 0-)

      that even many of those who have assimilated are sometimes mistaken for illegals.  It is based on what they look like.  They, as AAs, understand what it is to be assumed to be up to no good based on profiling.  Many have compassion for the indignities because many are sometimes humiliated as well.

      You're sleeping on a featherbed of lies - Scott McKenzie

      by Im a frayed knot on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 09:17:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is not that hard to understand at all... (8+ / 0-)

      ... if you realize that it is all about race. The anti-immigrant people who tell you it is about enforcing the law are lying. The driving force behind the anti-immigrant movement is to limit the number of brown-skinned people (in this case Hispanics) in the country.

      Look at the diatribes against Spanish.

      Look at lies about Hispanics causing crimes.

      Look at claims from national politicians that Miami is part of the third world.

      Look at vicious defamatory attacks on NCLR, the predominant Hispanic civil rights organization.

      If this were an argument about a law, or a national policy, then you would expect some difference of opinion. But it's not.

      At the core, this is an argument about whether Hispanics are a legitimate part of what it means to be American.

    •  Every person on the citizen track ... (3+ / 0-)

      has relatives on the track to nowhere. Think about it: those people who are stigmatized with the "i" word; they're your uncle or your mother. What's that do to your blood? Boil it?

    •  No one has ever asked to see my green card (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rebel ga

      or assumed I was here illegally.

      I can't show a green card because I don't have one. I don't carry proof of citizenship on my person, and as a citizen I am not obligated to. But, I am blonde. It is better than a green card.

      If you are brown, and especially if your last name seems spanish, it is almost certain that someone has questioned your citizenship.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 09:17:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My Grandparents came to America (0+ / 0-)

      In the late 1880's (to NYC)

      The Dream Act Children Should Have The Same Opportunity To Become Productive Citizens Also!

      Yes, I am very disappointed, in the republican senate's decision not to pass the Dream Act!

      But I'm a little naive and hope for the good, or the chance they might reform and be good, in as many people as possible!

      Yes, I Get Disappointed a Lot!

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga* Be The Change You Want To See In The World. Ghandi

      by rebel ga on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 11:01:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is not only Latinos (7+ / 0-)

    It is a lot of us white folks whose families have been here for 250 years.  These young students are what this country is all about and I welcome them with open arms.  They are the energy that gives our country vibrancy.  They bring newness to a country that would otherwise get stale.  Remember who voted no and ensure that they never get reelected.

    You're sleeping on a featherbed of lies - Scott McKenzie

    by Im a frayed knot on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 09:15:36 AM PST

    •  Um, well...... (3+ / 0-)

      Bill Bennett voted in favor of the DREAM Act.  He's a member of a religion that taught until 1978 that dark skin was a sign of a curse by God.

      He voted Yes just to piss off the Teapartiers who defeated him in the primary.

      Orrin Hatch used to support the DREAM Act, until he discovered that his phosphorescent constituents were beginning to accept jobs cleaning office building, unloading trucks and working in mines.

  •  Well said, HS News (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, ybruti, rebel ga

    I hope that those Americans who were deeply disappointed by the success of the Repubican filibuster to block this bill -- Hispanic and non-Hispanic (like me) alike -- remember who pushed this bill and who killed it.

    Democrats worked hard to bring this bill to a vote and tried to pass it.
    Republicans stood fast to block this important legislation from coming to an up-or-down vote in the U.S. Senate, which it would have passed easily.

    There were a few exceptions: three GOP Senators who voted to end the filibuster (Lugar, Murkowski, and Bennett), and five Democratic Senators who voted for the filibuster (Hagan, Pryor, Baucus, Nelson, and Tester).

    But the essential story is that Democrats pushed this bill hard, and Republicans killed it.
    Never forget that.

  •  Amen HS News n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rebel ga

    The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. Molly Ivans

    by MufsMom on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 10:18:36 AM PST

  •  For a successful Act II, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, rebel ga

    voting for those who support the DREAM is a first priority.

    Against logic there is no armor like ignorance. - Dr. Laurence J. Peter

    by ahumbleopinion on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 10:35:18 AM PST

  •  I watched those speeches and wondered if they did (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, ybruti, SolarMom, rebel ga

    not know that two Latino networks were covering it live.  Did they not know or did they just not think it was important?

    Such disappointment.  So cheap a solution for a real problem that could make such a huge difference to our  country.

    Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices. ~Voltaire from La Feminista

    by maybeeso in michigan on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 12:47:26 PM PST

  •  Very glad your diary was rescued! (4+ / 0-)

    Terrific work, HSNews!

    (And thanks again to the Rescue Rangers!)

    "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT

    by BeninSC on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 08:32:26 PM PST

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