Dream Act Passes House

The Dream Act has passed the House, by a vote of 216-198. The bill will help immigrant students and servicemembers. It go to the Senate tomorrow, where it faces uncertain odds. What does it mean?

Tn brief, the DREAM Act would enable some immigrant students who have grown up in the U.S. to apply for temporary legal status and to eventually obtain permanent status and become eligible for U.S. citizenship if they go to college or serve in the U.S. military.

Sen. Michael Bennet:

Support for the DREAM Act is not only a matter of conscience for me since its the right thing to do; its also a practical solution. Continue delay is an irresponsible waste.

We owe it to the tax payers who have invested in these youth, the teachers who have fostered their development and our military who can benefit from the energy of these youth to move forward on the DREAM Act.

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  • Display: Sort:
    This is really good policy (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 08:35:17 PM EST
    and a uniquely humane piece of legislation. It would be tragic if it doesn't pass.

    That applies to more than a few bills now on life support in the Lame Duck session.

    Major flaw, however ... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Peter G on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 08:48:34 PM EST
    For those undocumented youth who are not college material, or otherwise not going to college, the military is the only option offered as a "path to citizenship."  Earlier drafts allowed AmeriCorps and other civilian service.  Thus, the Act pushes these kids into the military, where they will have an above average rate of difficulty.  And if they can't or don't complete the full commitment successfully, then goodbye Charlie (or Carlos).

    That's an unfortunate change (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 08:52:50 PM EST
    I assume it was necessary to secure passage.

    The only way I can imagine (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Peter G on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 09:50:39 PM EST
    that this particular change could have been seen as "necessary" would be that the DREAM Act was seen by some -- congressmembers who are more pro-militarist than pro-immigrant -- as a surreptitious "poverty draft," to shore up recruitment for our endless wars.

    It's all about justifying (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 09:55:36 PM EST
    your vote to bigoted constituents (i.e., "It's not amnesty! We forced them to join the military.")

    I had the floor debate on in the background earlier. Some Republicans were calling it the "Nightmare Act" and demagoguing the prospect that illegal aliens would be entitled to affirmative action.


    oy. (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by nycstray on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 10:30:51 PM EST
    glad i didn't have it on in the bkgrd. shameful.

    sad to see (none / 0) (#1)
    by pitachips on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 08:35:03 PM EST
    that politicians only start talking about laws that should be passed "as a matter of conscience" after they've been voted out.

    whoops (none / 0) (#3)
    by pitachips on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 08:36:33 PM EST
    Thought this was Bennett from Utah! I'm going to blame the mistake on the Glenlivet :)

    Ahem (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdm251 on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 08:39:24 PM EST
    Bennett did win re-election

    what's the prospects of this passing in the Senate (none / 0) (#7)
    by Lil on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 09:04:09 PM EST
    I don't want to get my hopes up, but it is looking slightly optimistic for DADT and the Dream Act to pass. Is this possible in a lame duck after a seemingly weakened Democratic Party, that this could happen? Or is this just another example of the house passing a bill that dies in the Senate?

    It will not pass the senate (none / 0) (#10)
    by nyjets on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 09:45:31 PM EST
    From everything I read, there is a good chance that the bill will never clear the senate so the bill will probable die this year.

    I hope this passes. Must note, however, (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 09:21:59 PM EST
    in a discussion with two close friends re the recent CA decision to permit undocumented persons who complete 3 yrs. of high school here and graduate, to pay in state tuition re state schools in CA--my friends both vehemently objected to this turn of events.  Something about rewarding illegal acts and taking jobs away from others.  We had to change the subject.  

    There are definitely people (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 09:43:22 PM EST
    I avoid discussing politics with because I don't want to have to yell. . .

    Their reaction was totally unexpected (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 09:58:14 PM EST
    by me.  

    If they've been here starting as small (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Harry Saxon on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 09:53:53 AM EST
    children or infants they are culturally Americans, so giving them a chance to stay in this country is more than fair.

    Deporting them(as I presume your friends would prefer to do to them) would be literally throwing money down the drain as well as an injustice of the first water towards undocumented children/young adults who didn't sneak across the border of their own free will.

    And how many of these friends go to church or another religious institution of some sort?:

    But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

    Leviticus 19:34

    For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

    Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

    Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

    When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

    Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

    And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    Matthew 25:35-40


    One attends church regularly. I think (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 12:38:55 PM EST
    my friends have grown more conservative as we all aged.  Not sure what happened to me.  They do vote Dem. though.

    I would quote the second excerpt (none / 0) (#27)
    by Harry Saxon on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 02:08:44 PM EST
    to your church-going friend, and then stand back and see what happens.

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 06:09:18 AM EST
    all those 1 day-16 year old criminal masterminds looking to exploit poor innocent California & America...it's a regular crime wave!

    Hearing the same heartless authoritarian jibberish from the talking heads on Fox right now...infuriating and totally sad.

    "I believe that children are future, lock them up, then deport their arse.  Break all the beauty they posess insiiiide."

    Doesn't have the same ring...


    Perhaps I am more sympathetic because (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 12:40:27 PM EST
    our tutorees are all Latino, although probably born in U.S.  Then again, one of my friends tutored long before I did.  

    One of my good friends... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 12:46:47 PM EST
    is in this precarious legal position...parents brought him here without papers as a small boy.

    He's as American as I am, and it's impossible to convince me otherwise.


    Roll Call is up (none / 0) (#14)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 10:14:58 PM EST

    Fu*k you Patrick Murphy. WTF?

    Maybe the aspect of the Act (none / 0) (#16)
    by Peter G on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 10:59:44 PM EST
    that appears to pressure undocumented youth into the military out of desperation offended him, as a progressive veteran.

    Nope (none / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:02:32 PM EST
    Murphy is just awful on this issue.

    well, then I'm surprised, too (none / 0) (#18)
    by Peter G on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:11:36 PM EST
    Another view (none / 0) (#22)
    by DancingOpossum on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 10:25:47 AM EST
    Here's the inimitable Bruce Dixon on the issue:

    DREAM Act propaganda emphasizes the availability of college to immigrant youth, and it will enable some to attend college who otherwise couldn't. But with the cost of higher education sharply rising and no extra funds for undocumented students, that part of the DREAM Act campaign is pure deception, bait-and-switch, a mirage. DREAM Act green card holders will face the same bleak economic choices as other young people of modest means, with additional challenges of language, discrimination and identity. The military will be even more attractive a choice for qualifying immigrant youth than it is for citizens.

    This is what the Pentagon openly counts on. Page 12 of its FY 2012 Strategic Plan says it needs the DREAM Act to access immigrant populations in order to achieve its recruitment goals.

    At every freeway exit in metro Atlanta, where I live, I can see one or two white or black guys with signs that say 'homeless vet - please help.' Maybe soon, some of those signs will be in Spanish.

    http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/dream-act-will-extend-poverty-draft-immigrant-youth-such -deal%20

    Postponed (none / 0) (#26)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 01:48:09 PM EST
    a college degree (none / 0) (#28)
    by CST on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 05:13:13 PM EST
    does it specify whether it has to be from a 4 year college?

    There are plenty of cheap community colleges around.