It took nine years and the untimely tragic death of an undocumented student activist from her district to compel Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) to finally co-sponsor the DREAM Act, legislation that would give undocumented students in the United States an earned pathway to citizenship.
OC writer Gustavo Arellano states that “hell has frozen over” and likens this surprise show of support to the Republicans willingly allowing California to be taken over by Aztlan. The Orange County DREAM Team (OCDT) and many other youth activists who have endlessly lobbied Ms. Sanchez for her support over the years are rejoicing and welcoming this positive step forward.
For years, Rep. Sanchez had opposed co-sponsoring the DREAM Act, reportedly due to her support for comprehensive immigration reform. For many undocumented youth who see the DREAM Act as a step towards establishing a more just and humane immigration reform, this stance made little sense. Her sister and fellow Representative Linda Sanchez sided with the students by providing her support for the bill, and one by one even the opposition in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is melting away.
Rep. Sanchez has not stated why she changed her mind, though Gustavo comments in the same blog that the Congresswoman was probably not too happy about the prospects of the OCDT embarrassing her at every event till Election Day. That is certainly a smart move on her part considering she faces a difficult challenge from Van Tran, who is even more unfriendly to immigrants.
Incidentally, Sanchez did honor Tam Tran — an undocumented student leader and activist who was recently killed in a tragic accident — in a one minute House testimony, though she mentioned nothing about how Tam was a Dream Activist and a student that could have benefited from the DREAM Act. At one time, Tam was also a member of the OCDT, lived in the district represented by Rep. Sanchez, and lobbied her for co-sponsorship on the DREAM Act.
So while Rep Sanchez is still failing to connect the issues, getting self-identifying blue dog Democrats like her to co-sponsor the DREAM Act is another win for the movement.
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