Posted by Bob Lord
If I could wave a magic wand over all immigrant kids and confer legal status with a clear path to citizenship on them, I would. In a heartbeat. But I’m really not comfortable with the DREAM Act.
There are some positions I took during my campaign that I’m less than proud of. Not my stance on the DREAM Act. When asked, I would explain that I supported the goal of the DREAM Act, but I thought it was too narrow in scope. In my opinion, it needed other avenues for young immigrants to achieve legal status. I didn’t want the only avenue besides college to be the military. The reality is that most kids, including immigrant kids, are not college material. The idea that a non-college bound kid could achieve legal status and ultimately citizenship only by serving in the military bothered me. So my position was that additional avenues — Americorps, infrastructure building, community service — had to be added as means for attaining legal status.
A few years later, I saw Rep. Gutierrez, for whom I generally have a lot of respect, on television trumpeting the DREAM Act and how it would provide the military with nearly a million new recruits. Really? Is that a good thing? A million new recruits? In what war are these new recruits going to be used as cannon fodder? I’m guessing Iran, but I suppose it could be a different one that’s too early in the planning stage for us to know about.
So, for the past year or so, I’ve had this debate with several of my progressive friends. They think I’m being paternalistic, and they’re probably right. But the road to hell really can be paved with good intentions, and the thought of half a million immigrant kids dying in yet another imperialistic American military adventure sure seems like hell to me. And unlike poor American kids, these immigrant kids would have nobody to rise up on their behalf to challenge the war. After all, if you’re in the country illegally, as most parents of DREAM Act kids are, you’re not in much of a position to speak truth to power.
Now, enter Mitt. If this son of a bitch gets his way, the DREAM Act will have military service as the exclusive means of attaining legal status for young immigrants. So, he’s taking the opposite of the approach I advocated. No, surprise there, but what a cold-hearted prick. He wants to tell bright, young, college bound immigrants to forget about college and go fight in wars, with the clear message: “We don’t want you becoming doctors or engineers or scientists. You’re immigrants. You’re not worthy of college. We need you to be military grunts. Not officers, mind you. Grunts. College is for white kids, don’t you know?” I guess Mitt is where elitism and racism intersect.
Sorry to say, I’m concerned my fears regarding the DREAM Act are becoming reality. The Republicans no doubt will adopt Mitt’s position. Will the Democrats treat this as a “compromise” and accept it, explaining that the original DREAM Act couldn‘t pass the House? Don’t’ answer that one. Then, could war with Iran to break out. Don’t answer that one either.
This is not boding well.