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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Repubplicans Mock Dream Act, Lindsey Graham Bashes Students

This article was first published as Lindsey Graham Mocks Dream Activists on Technorati, by Tim Paynter

Senate Republicans made no friends today when they failed to advance the Dream Act. In fact their remarks were considered offensive.  At the same time, they ended the hopes of thousands of young college aged youths to become part of US society for the foreseeable future.

Americans love the underdog. Our culture is based upon coming from behind. We cheer the hero, who battles despite short odds, and defeats the bully. Republican Lindsey Graham was a bully in the Senate when he told students they were “wasting their time” because the most powerful country in the world had not sealed the border, so it was going to take it out on juvenile immigrants instead.  He said they were playing a "Silly stupid game" aimed at turning Hispanics against Republicans, reported the

Clearly, after Republicans blocked hopes for comprehensive immigration reform for 2010, they could have saved the day by passing a token immigration bill called the Dream Act. Republicans refused, and launched a smear campaign against the Act, calling it Amnesty, something it clearly was not.  Hispanic leaders, immigrant youth and a nation pulling for young people who merely want a taste of the American Dream were crushed when Republicans snuffed out the under dog like it was a cigarette under the heel of their boot.

The Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act was designed to protect those few minor children of undocumented workers who were brought here when most of them were too young to remeber.  While their parents may have broken the law, only a bully punishes a child for the mistakes of his parents. Yet Senator Graham tongue-lashed the eager youths with remarks blaming the young people for their valiant fight for basic civil rights.

“To those who have come to my are wasting your time” he said from the Senate floor.

Graham then blamed the youths for damaging the hopes for over-all comprehensive immigration reform for all immigrants in 2011.  The proposed law is called CIR, or CIRASAP indicating the urgency of the law, Comprehensive Immigration Reform As Soon As Possible.

“What they have done on the Dream Act is hurt overall comprehensive immigration reform,” Graham said after the Seante vote, according to The Hill.

Graham's remarks were cruel words for the young people leaving the nation's capitol with tears streaming down their cheeks.  Graham has done everything in his power to block both the Dream Act and CIR. In fact, the securing of the borders has been in Graham's hands for a long time but he has blocked it at every turn.  CIR is first a border security bill.  Now, Graham says he favors changing the 14th Amendment, which would deny citizenship to children of undocumented youths born on US soil.  That would make them children without a country since no country would accept them without proof of citizenship in their parent's native country.

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Graham is not the only Republican to beat up on immigrant youth.  Arizona State senator Russell Pearce (R-AZ) was rude to one of the Dream Activists when she approached him during a public appearance. That was no way to treat a lady.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) broke his word to the Dream Activists, after first promising to support immigration reform along with Edward Kennedy, and then turning his back on the students completely. He steadfastly refused to meet with student leaders even though they were camped in the summer blaze in front of his Phoenix, Arizona, office for weeks this year.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) ridiculed the students as they held hunger strikes that lasted for over 28 days. Sen. Hutchinson had the students arrested when they refused to leave her office blaming it on the landlord. Clearly, a powerful Republican Party is beating up on the weakest in society, while mocking the students for their efforts.

Hispanics have been putting up with an aggressive anti-immigrant stance from Republicans for a long time. However, while adult immigrants have weathered the icy reception, the Republican whipping with rude and disrespectful remarks to immigrant children will likely be a regrettable mistake. As the GOP searches for an expanded base, they can write off Latinos after the way they have treated the children of the community.

A few Democrats are in hot water with Latino voters, as well.  Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, two Montana senators, Jon Tester and Max Baucus, and Kay Hagan of North Carolina all refused to support the Dream Act.  Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia didn't even bother to attend the vote for the Dream Act or for the vote for gays in the military known as Don't Ask, Don't Tell.  Manchin was too busy having fun at a family party, reports the web publication, Politico.

In the meantime, immigrant youth have placed their futures in the hands of people who are supposed to know what wisdom is. Some are subject to deportation shortly. Without the Dream Act, their chances of living the American Dream are quickly fading.  Others are already planning for 2011.  Underdog might get squashed under the heels of cruel aggressors.  He is never defeated.  A few Republican and Democrat senators may not be able to say the same after the 2012 elections.

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