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Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on Immigration and the DREAM Act
I normally do not pay attention to what politicans say in their scripted speeches and any other simulation for mass consumption, but something Barack Obama said struck a personal chord.
He brought up the theme of ‘Two Americas’ while talking about how he wanted to make the DREAM Act a priority. “I do not want two classes of citizens in this country,” he said. “I want everybody to prosper.” What current immigration policy is doing is creating multitudes of classes but lets try to follow Obama’s dichotomy. He obviously cannot break out on national television and speak about “multitudes” of anything — Most of America would go “huh?” As undocumented students, we are another class of our own. We are honest, educated and cultured Americans who are denied the right to work, drive and face obstacles to higher education. Our daily lives are full of subtle difficulties like not having proper identification to cash cheques, travelling 6 hours by bus to get to a location that is only 2 hours away by car, not being able to take out loans for school or home or even having proper credit. If that does not qualify as creation of a separate class of people, I don’t know what does.
It seems like both Democratic candidates for President are pro-immigration and pro-DREAM, or they know their voter base and are courting the Latino voters. Either way, it looks good for DREAMers but we cannot rest on these hopes. For the DREAM Act to come up for debate in 2009 and win, the Democrats need to pick up more seats in the Senate or CHANGE the minds of the anti-DREAMers. We also need to have organization support and do massive campaigning to make our voices head. MAYBE we need to make additional concessions and have tougher requirements. Having a Pro-DREAM declaring President does not make the task at hand any easier.