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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: U.S. | Immigrant Rights | Racial Justice
The Unstoppable Dreamers
"Instead of deciding it was advantageous to cave to anti-immigrant racists, Obama looked for a way to please a mobilized and dissatisfied Latino base. We have the DREAMers to thank for that."
"You can say that Obama was pandering for election-year purposes with his announcement last week that the government will no longer deport undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. You can say that the new policy does not go far enough in securing thoroughgoing immigration reform. So be it. The change is nevertheless a tremendous advance that will affect some 800,000 young people who have been living in fear and uncertainty about their ability to stay in the country. And it is worth spending a moment to pay homage to the DREAM Act students whose extraordinary activism made it possible.
In case you haven’t followed this issue, the DREAM Act is a piece of legislation that would give legal status and create a path to citizenship for young immigrants, some of whom have spent almost their entire lives in the United States, who are going to college or serving in the military. The bill was passed by the House in 2010, and even got fifty-one votes in the Senate, but it could not overcome a Republican filibuster.
Undaunted, student activists supporting the bill—young people known as DREAMers—continued to push for the legislation with a series of gutsy actions. It is their dedication that has compelled Obama’s executive order, which represents an end-run around Congress. The order implements many of the practical mandates of the DREAM Act, giving legal status to young immigrants who have been in the country for more than five years and who have graduated high school, earned a GED, or enlisted in the military."
to read Mark Engler's article published in: Dissent Magazine, June 20, 2012, click on