Our VoiceImmigration

The DREAM killed in the Senate, but not on the streets

Jill Garvey • Dec 20, 2010

The DREAM Act did not pass the Senate vote on Saturday, December 18. The decision is devastating for the tens of thousands of students who fought tooth and nail for the bill.

But it is not surprising. One only has to look at the faces of the senators who denied the dreams of these students to understand why. In today’s Congress there are only four senators of color - one African American, one Latino, one Asian American, and one native Hawaiian. Only six African Americans have ever served in the U.S. Senate. Same goes for Latinos.

In fact, the Senate make-up is nothing like that of the American people overall, especially when it comes to age. The average age of a U.S. Senator is 64. That along with the racial and gender imbalance, means about 80% of Senators fit the demographics of anti-immigrant and Tea Party leaders.

Those who would like to see immigrants further dehumanized, men like Roy Beck of NumbersUSA, are ecstatic. Roy Beck has been at the forefront of efforts by anti-immigrant groups to stop the DREAM Act, because he knows that documenting immigrant youth upsets long-established ideas about who receives opportunities in this country, and who doesn’t.

Anti-immigrant leaders believe that destroying the DREAM Act will stop progress. Good thing they are wrong.

The same spirit that has historically propelled underrepresented Americans forward, also inhabits these students and the thousands of youth growing up behind them.

These students will be documented one by one. And it will be done the way it has always been done. Without the help of those in power.

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