Republicans have despised us and used us for personal gain, Democrats have foresaken us and ignored our plight, but do they really think they’ve beaten us?
I was crestfallen when I heard the results of the cloture vote today: 52-44, and the DREAM Act was dead in the Senate before we even had a chance to debate it. I wasn’t surprised. Sure, we put up a good fight- over 70 colleges in 20 states joined forces for three days of national call-ins among tens of other actions across the country.
It wasn’t enough, but this isn’t the end. I’ve heard the arguments- immigration is a wedge issue, immigration is a dead end, immigration gets politicans nowhere so they won’t touch it. The REAL dead end is the thought that we can marginalize, spit on, and deny a HUGE population in our country the rights and dignity they deserve without suffering the consequences.
The DREAM act, like most pro-immigration legislation, was a compromise piece of legislation (like AgJobs) that makes sense for our communities and the future of our country. Attempts to manipulate this legislation, to kill it for personal gain, may work in the short run, but in the long term, our communities will continue to suffer from inadequate and ineffective federal policy, and eventually congress WILL see the error of their ways. They always do. It is just a matter of how many years we will suffer, how much decline we will endure, and how much hate we will put up with.
When I look at the women’s suffrage movement, the abolition movement, the movement for LGBT rights, I am inspired and I believe that respect and justice do triumph- after a very tough fight. With many losses, and much determination.
We’ve got our target, and it is justice for all who set foot on American soil. The DREAM is alive and well in all of our communities- yours and mine- and the fight continues to make it reality.