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Letter to the DREAM Movement: My Painful Withdrawal of Support for the DREAM Act

Posted by digoguerra en septiembre 18, 2010

Letter to the DREAM Movement:

My Painful Withdrawal of Support for the DREAM Act

by Raúl Al-qaraz Ochoa 

17 September 2010

I have supported the DREAM Act, despite my critiques and concerns over the military service component. In fact, I was one of the arrestees at the sit-in at John McCain’s office in Tucson, AZ; an act of civil disobedience where four brave undocumented students risked deportation and put the DREAM Movement back in the national political stage. I made peace with my participation because I felt I was supporting the self-determination of a movement led by undocumented youth and I felt we could subvert the component that was to feed undocumented youth into the military pipeline if we developed a plan to support youth to the college pathway.

First, let me say that I applaud and admire the tireless work you have all done for the past 10 years. Your commitment and dedication parallels giant student movements of the Civil Rights era. Your persistence in organizing even when the world turned their back on you is inspiring; your creativity in tactics, visuals and media strategy is amazing. Your movement gives hope to hundreds of students I have come across here in Arizona and beyond. It is because of your grassroots efforts—not the politicians’ nor the national Hispanic organizations’—that the Dream is still alive and has come this far. As an organizer with permanent resident status privilege, let me assert that your cause for access to college and path to legalization is just. No one can tell you that what you are fighting for is wrong.

With that said, I want to share how I am deeply appalled and outraged at how Washington politics are manipulating and co-opting the dream. I understand that some folks may say, “we just want the DREAM Act to pass regardless”, but it is critical to examine the political context surrounding DREAM in its current state. It is disturbing to see how Democrats are attaching our community’s dreams for education/legalization to a defense appropriations bill. This is grotesque in a number of ways:

1)    Democrats are using the DREAM Act as a political stunt to appeal to Latino voters for the November elections because it is seen as “less” threatening than a broad immigration reform. The Democrats have the political will to recently unite and pass a border militarization bill in a matter of hours ($600 million!), yet they won’t pass a broader immigration reform? And now they are up for the DREAM Act? I’m glad they feel the pressure of the Latino voting bloc, but they obviously do not care about our lives, they only seek to secure their seats in November—which by the way look very jeopardized if they don’t move quickly to energize their “base”. They are also seeking to secure the gay vote with the gradual repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy as part of this same defense bill. All in all, insincere, token political gestures only serve to stall real justice.

2)    Democrats are telling me that if I support access to education for all my people, I must also support the U.S. war machine with $670 billion for the Pentagon? Does this mean I have to support the military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan? By supporting the DREAM Act, does this mean I automatically give a green light for U.S. forces to continue invading, killing and raping innocent people all over the world? This is really unfair. Here in Arizona I struggle with a climate of fear and terror. Yet even though I am so far away, I hear the cries of Arab mothers who are losing their children in U.S. sponsored bombings and massacres. There’s a knot in my throat because victims of U.S. aggression abroad look just like us… victims of U.S. aggression at home. This ugly and twisted political system is dividing us and coercing us into supporting the funding of more bloodshed and more destruction if we want the DREAM Act to pass. Does this mean that our dreams will rest upon the nightmares of people that suffer globally? Obviously, students that call their Senators are supporting their future NOT bloodshed abroad, but we have to be responsible to the larger political implications of this.

3)    Democrats are vilifying and criminalizing our parents. A really insulting argument prominently used for passing the DREAM Act that I keep hearing over and over is that because undocumented students “didn’t choose to come to the U.S. to break the laws of this country” you shouldn’t have to pay for the “sins” or “illegal behavior” of your parents. Are they serious?!? It is not okay to allow legislation to pass that will stand on and disrespect the struggle, sacrifice and dignity of our parents. What about blaming U.S. led capitalist and imperialist policies as the reasons that create our “refugee” populations. Our parents’ struggle is not for sale. We must not fall for or feed into the rhetoric that criminalizes us or our parents. We all want justice, but is it true justice if we have to sell out our own family members along the way?

Again, I support this fight–it’s part of a larger community struggle. It’s personal to all of us. Passage of the DREAM Act would definitely be a step forward in the struggle for Migrant Justice. Yet the politicians in Washington have hijacked this struggle from its original essence and turned dreams into ugly political nightmares. I refuse to be a part of anything that turns us into political pawns of dirty Washington politics. I want my people to be “legalized” but at what cost? We all want it bad. I hear it. I’ve lived it. but I think it’s a matter of how much we’re willing to compromise in order to win victories or crumbs.

This again proves how it is problematic to lobby the state and put all our efforts in legislation to pass. We should know that this political route is always filled with racism, opportunism, betrayals and nightmares. History repeats itself once again.

So if I support the DREAM Act, does this mean I am okay with our people being used as political pawns? Does this mean that my hands will be smeared with the same bloodshed the U.S. spills all over the world? Does this mean I am okay with blaming my mother and my father for migrating “illegally” to the U.S.? Am I willing to surrender to all that in exchange for a benefit? Maybe it’s easier for me to say that ”I can” because I have papers, right? I’d like to think that it’s because my political principles will not allow me to do so, regardless of my citizenship status or personal benefit at stake. Strong movements that achieve greater victories are those that stand in solidarity with all oppressed people of the world and never gain access to rights at the expense of other oppressed groups.

 I have come to a deeply painful decision: I can no longer in good political conscience support the DREAM Act because the essence of a beautiful dream has been detained by a colonial nightmare seeking to fund and fuel the U.S. empire machine.

I am so sorry and so enraged that this larger political context has deferred those dreams of justice and equality that we all share.

In tears, rage, love and sorrow,

-r

35 comentarios to “Letter to the DREAM Movement: My Painful Withdrawal of Support for the DREAM Act”

  1. escribió

    So what am I to do with my life now then ? Am I to join my parents in collecting bottles and cans for food and rent money ?

    Are my efforts in school worthless because I can’t get a job ?

    Am I suppose to go to MacArthur Park and get a fake I.D. to work at some dead end job for the rest of my life ?

    Do you know the kind of crippling depression and suicidal tendencies I have developed for living undocumented these last 18 yrs ?

    • Vh3419 escribió

      Lets have hope=)

      With or with no Dream Act we have proven that we deserve this opportunity. You have earned the right to succeed. We can’t give up now. We have come soo dang far in the past few years, we can’t give up.

      The Dream Act is the first step to an immigration reform. We need to help our parents and communities. This is just a hurdle in our way. We are still not free even with the Dream Act. We still have SB1070 (AZ), Sb1070 copycats, 287g in many states, secure communities, ban of ethnic studies (Az), criminalization (everywhere), Arpaio, Russel Pearce, and others tryin to take away birth right citizenship. A LOT to work for!

      We need you to be part of it all.

    • Anahi escribió

      You are suppose to help your parents get legalized. They have given us the voice that we have now, It is only because of our parents that we live here and now. I think we have absorbed absolutely everything from this country, including “individualism” you take care of yourself first, and the rest does not matter. I completely support Ochoa’s opinion. Think about it, all we are for the empire is “disposable people” parents our their children.

    • Anahi escribió

      I can totally understand the frustration’s of being undocumented in this society. Common, we can’t do anything, any hope that we could ever have is impossible because are hands are completely tied. Let me remind you, that if we had stayed in Mexico we would be tied by other reasons anyway. We are not even free to engage in civil disobedience or if we are university students we cannot participate in our schools freely.

      “La fe sin obras esta muerta,” so I say, get an education, look outside the box, if you need to go to Macarthur Park to get an I.D. GO AHEAD! That is what everybody does, and it is employers jobs to check, not ours, they need our cheap labor, and we need the job. (If I am not suppose to say this, please erase it immediately)It just the blunt truth.

      Get your education, the highest one you can achieve, so that in case you had to go back you will have an asset to offer Mexico. Never forget where you are coming from, because you might have to go back. Just because you do not know Mexico, it does not mean Mexico does not accept you as their citizen. Keep that in mind, it might help you not feel so helpless.
      All the empire wants is to make you feel defeated, like you can’t do anything. Do not let that happen to you our your friends, you need someone to talk, contact me, I will do my best to encourage you. If you get so depressed that you end in innaction, the empire has won over you.

      We come from indigenous groups, who have very strong and powerful attitudes, learn from them and be strong… This is a reason to be proud of.

  2. martha lujan escribió

    There is a petition on change.org with the title “stop the militarization of the dream act”. please go to it and send me your comment. Lupe and Robert Lujan CAMS

  3. Rachel H escribió

    Raul -

    I’m sorry to see this because I hear the hurt it causes you, and I’m pleased to see the principled stand you have taken.

    I’d like to speak to you about a non-partisan (truly no parties) political movement. I believe you would be an asset to the group.

    I’ve signed in here with my eMail – I’d appreciate it if you would eMail me, so that we can correspond?

    Thanks for all you do – your work is good. :o )

  4. escribió

    [...] Letter to the DREAM Movement: My Painful Withdrawal of Support for the DREAM Act. TNI_blog_id = 101; TNI_post_id = [...]

  5. josh escribió

    You don’t speak for all the Dreamers. Your letter doesn’t help us at all. I am ashamed that you would write this. I want to serve my country.

    • MdeG escribió

      There are many ways of serving, and not all of them are military. Being an educated person is an important contribution. So are many forms of volunteer effort. I’m a religious pacifist; I support DREAM because it’s important to so many people I know, but I’m troubled by the fact that it seems to me like it would work out to a de facto military draft on undocumented youth. If you feel moved to do military service by all means do; however it should not be a requirement. (There’s a long legal history there re. whether pacifists can be naturalized citizens; the current answer is YES and I would like it to stay that way.) In all comments on DREAM I try to say: I support the volunteer civil service option as an integral part of the act.

    • Anahi escribió

      Excuse me,think again about your comment about “serving your country.” How are you going to serve a country that only see’s you as a source of cheap labor or a disposable subject that will end up dead who knows where, and nobody cares about them? If that is the kind of country you want to serve, go ahead, but I personally think you are missing the bigger picture. This is not about one person being allowed to contribute to your country. (By the way, you already contribute more, than you get back from this government, you want to sacrifice even more, that is up to you.)This is about a whole group of people, seen as extremely vulnerable and easily exploitable. Look at the actual number of legalized Latinos who actually end up into higher education. Since the military is loosing its prestige status, they are looking for new sources of recruitment, who is the most vulnerable? I would say, many of you who have stayed in this country most of your lives who have for gotten where you really belong. Now, you have become part of the “Me” generation, and as long as everything is going well for us, the rest does not really matter. They have also for gotten how powerful the working class can be United.

      We need to remember that. Please, don’t take it harshly, I am passionate about this, I know how things are, be proud of who you are, there is nothing to ashamed of. We cannot allow ourselves to be a tool, we are not a tool. We do not have to accept the crumbs coming off the table, we can demand, that is our ultimate freedom.

  6. Vh3419 escribió

    Thank you for your previous support.

    I understand your concern with the military and I would lie if I said that I hadn’t come upon this conflict myself.

    However, you and I know that this opportunity is unique, that this chance won’t come back again. I am not selling out on my values because I do believe that the Dream Act will give us the option of college or military.

    And if we want to take our youth to college then WE need to work harder to make that happen. With or with no Dream Act, the recruitment of soldiers (Hispanic, especially)is still massive. So I hope that with such “high” values you have, you are also doing something to change that.

    Because I can assure you that I do. Everyday, I make sure to mentor students, be part of my community and become the example for many to follow. And I have to say that I have changed opinions about the military and helped many get to college.

    And about our parents. We do not sell them out. I was brought here but i thank my mom every dang day for doing what she did. And I make sure to say that every time I have to say my story. But they suffer as much as I do if not more. They feel guilt for our struggles and would again, give anything for us to have a better future. This is the first step for an immigration reform and my parents know that And even if it wasn’t, they support me just as much because it is something for their daughter (great parents).

    I hope you do feel comfortable with your decision. When the Dream Act passes, I assure you that we will work jsut as hard, if not harder, to lead our DREAMers to college!

    Thank You.

    • Anahi escribió

      Seriously,the DREAM ACT will not allow more students go to college, because Hispanics have a very hard time being able to afford higher education. Look at the number of legalized Hispanics who actually get to universities, it is very low. Also, regular citizens also have a hard time being able to maintain themselves into higher education. Tuition costs increase every year, at least 5 percent, how are they going to afford it? They are not…

      This struggle needs to have everyone on board, races, classes, and legal statuses. That is the only way, we as “Americans” have the voice our parents lack, have the youth once our parents had, lets use this to get the movement going. But not the DREAM ACT, CIR, it is not insane to think we can achieve that. Remember, that is what the empire wants us to think. If you talk to anyone from an elitist school, they will say that we cannot, that it has already been determined by others, but it is not true. They think the working class is powerless, well, I have to say that the working class is very powerful, they just do not know it yet, because they have been oppressed for so long.

      Girl, empower your parents, the DREAM ACT is only mitigating the real problem, so it is not a real solution. Imagine, how proud our parents would feel if we decided to fight this for all, not just ourselves. The educated class…

      Making that decision disgusts me.

  7. escribió

    [...] us to rethink the possible passage of the Dream Act because of its pro-military provision.  A letter from one such person states, “I have come to a deeply painful decision: I can no longer in good [...]

  8. escribió

    [...] out. Raul Al-Qaraz Ochoa, who is not undocumented but was arrested in Senator McCain’s office wrote an open letter to the DREAM Movement as to why, in this critical moment, he is painfully withdrawing his [...]

  9. Alberto escribió

    Raul, gracias por escribir esto. It’s good to see a concise critique of the Dream Act.

  10. Pablo Paredes escribió

    Hermano,
    I’ve been trying to raise these issues for sometime and received some hurtful words many times for this stand. So I admire the strength of character that it takes to stand up for folks without a voice even when your social network and interest are in conflict with such a stand. The line about Arab mothers was deeply moving. I would love to work with you to raise these important issues when you are ready.

    Feel free to reach out :
    pablopare@gmail.com

    • Anahi escribió

      I know, it is hard to come up and say stuff against this. But it seems like we could start something from this… Contact me if you want, It is nice to speak with others who think a like, then we could get everybody on board.

  11. Armando escribió

    Raul, Antifronteras.com: You can support the Dream Act and oppose the Pentagon bankroll. Why does it have to be more complicated than this? If the Dream Act has not been amended to be meaningless your support is warranted. You address a much bigger issue through your withdrawal of support: More militarization of the of the war machine. That is a Peace Movement issue with much different dynamics. Peace activists have a worthy cause and they have a much bigger demon to slay. What you mean is that you support them as well. The changes you suggest are honorable, but they will require much more sacrifice, better strategy and a commitment for the long haul, my friend. Let’s not get confused now.

  12. LuC escribió

    We all have struggled, our parents struggle so much. But Imperialism (funded by tax money that we pay), is the reason our parents were forced to leave their countries. It would be more than ironic to support such a bill in order to gain the DREAM act. it would be a travesty.

    I don’t think, in fact I know, this is not our only chance. If we stay united now and fight for more and better – we won’t be defeated. We deserve more than this. In 1986 they fought and won full Amnesty. Now lets fight for the DREAM act to be voted on as its own seperate bill – lets win this struggle without sacrificing the lives of other families across the world.

  13. escribió

    “This again proves how it is problematic to lobby the state and put all our efforts in legislation to pass. We should know that this political route is always filled with racism, opportunism, betrayals and nightmares. History repeats itself once again.”

    Don’t lobby the government. Replace it with people you don’t have to lobby!

  14. Javier escribió

    I have been a strong supporter of a Comprehensive Immigration Reform that INCLUDES the DREAM Act from the start. When the question came up to separate and have a DREAM Act standalone I was outraged by this…I was saying the same things as you! I dislike the military component but more I was outraged on how DREAMERS could forget their families so easy. If it wasn’t for them the dreamers would never be here. I am a 3rd generation citizen. I am NOT your ally! This is my fight and my struggle since 1492. Three generations ago my great grandparents busted @$$ to get here. My parents do not speak Spanish because of the history of this country. I do! I refused to accept anymore legacies. However, the last time you “wrote” something you were saying the exact opposite of what you just said here. Hypocrite. I say this because I am angry with you and it’s true if you compare writings. You seem like you’re trying to confuse and divide and conquer the people who put everything they have into these movements. “You’ll get weary in a movement where you try to do good…that’s just a given, the sin isn’t in getting weary the sin is in giving up!” KEEP THE FAITH!

  15. Deisy escribió

    I agree with so many points you made, and I always respect a different perspective. But you speak of hope and hope is not always in endless doses, especially not for people in chains.

    Change happens in different ways, and for the most part in increments. As a Dreamer who was fortunate enough to get legalize, I know that the challenges that the Dreamers face right now will never leave them, for better or for worse, we will carry with us our struggle post-documentation.
    We must have faith in our people, faith that once these young activist integrate into the society they will be able to give back even more than what we could ever imagine. What we need to is help them get get legalized, to support them so they can see that they have the power to create change and then provide them the services and resources they WILL need to integrate into society in healthy ways (that includes helping them find avenues to fund their education and graduate so they don’t join the military).
    If we work together to help them integrate peacefully, their struggle will serve as the fuel needed to create the bigger changes in all fields. Let us support them, have faith in their ability to choose, and let us work together to continue expanding the options they have to choose from. Every year we wait is a another year of trauma in thousands of lives waiting to happen. Keep them in chains and all you cultivate is an endless frustration, hopelessness and sense of powerlessness–one that can backfire into anger, disillusion and resentment.
    If we are scared that our Dreamers will opt to joining the military instead of going to college, let’s join our efforts to change that, to educate the younger ones and help expand access to higher education. If democrats are tricking us, let’s see if for what it is, take what will help us, and educate our people so they don’t fall into the trap. Our people are smart and resourceful. We work with the options we have, or know of. Expand consciousness and we will all see that We Dreamers and oppressed people can think and make the best decision with what we have.

  16. escribió

    And again, and again. They always succeed in dividing our struggle. This is particularly perverse not only because it is part of the defense bill but because it goes to the most sacred of our souls. Undocumented “criminal” “ilegal” parents of which the offspring are not to blame VS documented “educated” “dreamers”, some of which irremediably will be ashamed of their parents by the sheer force of the propaganda. We loose even when we win.

  17. John escribió

    The only way the DREAM act is going to make it past the republicans in congress is to tie it to something that they MUST approve.
    In this case, the defense authorization bill.

    While this is not the way I would like to see immigration reform happen, if this is the way it must start, then so be it.

    Vote for Defense or be the congress-person who “Doesn’t support our troops”, even if it’s got an immigration rider attached to it.

  18. escribió

    American History of 9/11/01 has conviently been omitted in your story, but yet you started DREAM prior to our American catastrophe and don’t even acknowledge it in your decision-making process and your convenient analysis and unwarranted accusations in a time of war. You show empathy for your people and the world for that matter, but not for the American you want to become. Surely, you know this is wartime and political decisions are made within that context — not within the contexr of a perfect world, because it just doesn’t exist.

    I would like the luxury if thinking in terms of morality and principle for every human as you do, but homeland security is priorty.

    American soil is threatened and we must exhaust all measures to secure it, or there are no luxuries that you seek via education/legalization. Point blank!

  19. Dan escribió

    Raul,

    I applaud your passion and understand your position. I do not support the war in Afghanistan nor the further militarization of the border. When the military component was introduced to the bill I was outraged. I am always one to advocate that education is a better way to channel our efforts to fight for the lives we have built here, become advocated for social change, and the best way to honor the sacrifice our parents have put forth. Like someone else had stated already, we are fighting a bigger machine here.

    The DREAM Act it is still necessary, not supporting it would be a greater loss. It is my hope that in it’s outcome, the legalization of thousands of students and individuals, would be a gain of people who are committed to social justice for all. While I would hope that the education would be a reality for all, I have sadly come to see that it is not. My little brother, who I loved dearly, is one of them. I see his life and see him in self-turmoil. “School” is not something that is in his being; he tried it and left it. He is now wondering from job to job trying to find his place in society. His current journey is not far from when he was a one-year-old, and I four, literally going from park to park picking up cans with me so we could exchange it for food. He is constantly looking at the military as a way to serve his country and find direction in his life (we have been able to keep him from enlisting until things change). Supporting the DREAM Act does not mean we have turned our backs to our Mother and other immigrants, continuing to work shit jobs in bars would honor less the struggle of our dead mother.

    While we fight the bigger machine and push for social change, it is the actions of everyday that count. Our communities have found healthy and conscious ways to live and fight in the ugly realities of capitalism, imperialism and globalization, and we will continue to do so. I don’t believe we can now throw in the “all or nothing”, our lives our not that vinery, my life is not that vinery. I, like my brother, need to eat and clothe ourselves as we fight for greater social change. The DREAM Act would allow us this.

  20. Chaim Eliyah escribió

    We will get this done somehow. We may have to sit out a couple of elections until the democrats remember who they were supposed to be fighting for, but we’ll get it done. ¡No te descorazones!

    in peace love and hope

    Chaim Eliyah
    Activist

  21. escribió

    (I apologize in advance for the length of this comment. I normally don’t like to leave such long comments but your letter was on point and really got me thinking about a lot of things…)

    Thanks for this very important contribution to the ongoing debate around the Dream Act. I hope what you’re raising is taken seriously in the debate and read widely. I’m currently organizing in Austin, TX, with a group called ¡ella pelea! We’re fighting to connect the anti-budget cuts struggle at the University of Texas with the immigrant rights struggle. We’ve been emphasizing the need for an autonomous movement of oppressed people — people of color, students, youth, undocumented — that moves beyond “petition politics”, or the wait and see game of asking those in power to do something they continually refuse to do rather than organizing to do it ourselves. This game regularly requires compromising one’s own principles in order to get in the “good graces” of the administration and the state. For too long our people have had to beg for what is rightfully ours, for what we work hard for everyday.

    Part of what I really appreciate about your letter is your emphasis on solidarity from below between oppressed peoples. Our struggle is weakened when we throw our brothers and sisters under the bus. By keeping us divided the state keeps us ineffective as organizers and as movements. We have to put forward an analysis similar to what you raise that connects defense funding for the murder of our Arab & Muslim brothers and sisters across the Middle East, with the devastating dis-investment from public education here, with the racist denial of access to education to undocumented youth in this country.

    There was a rally today in Austin in support of passing the Dream Act as part of the Defense Bill and it was stunning to hear that people brought signs saying “Support our future troops” and “I’m ready to serve.” Those people should be damn ashamed of themselves. They would benefit from studying past struggles like the Chicano Moratorium to learn from an example of struggle that is both anti-racist, anti-imperialist, and pro-worker, pro-immigrant.

    Some of the comments on your blog here mirror some of the criticisms we’ve heard here locally. Some are saying that by raising criticisms of the Dream Act or opposing the Democrats’ disgusting maneuver to link the Dream Act to the Defense Bill, we are being sectarian and abstentionist. As if we’re waiting for the “perfect” immigration reform package. That’s nonsense. If we’re not building a democratic movement where political differences can be openly and publicly debated, then we might as well go home cuz we’ve already lost the fight. And we’re not abstaining; in Austin we’re demanding open enrollment at UT to end the two-tiered education system and in its place open up the university to working class youth, students of color and undocumented youth.

    Some are also arguing that by focusing on the Dream Act alone and sacrificing broader demands like amnesty for all and no borders that we are more likely to “win” this fight. But some “victories” are actually terrible losses if we’re not careful. We cannot allow the elitist and racist agendas of the Democrats and Republicans to shape our demands. Immigration reform as they define it is about militarizing the border (while giving fat defense contracts to their buddies), securing a reliable and controllable pool of super-exploited undocumented labor, and/or dividing the “good” undocumented from the “bad” undocumented (often working class, queer, unemployed youth). Matter of fact, they recognize the Dream Act as an effective tool to divide the struggle for immigrant rights. They were not blind to the power of the massive walkouts, strikes, and demonstrations in 2006, nor to the potential for such activity to spread and deepen among oppressed communities. The Dream Act becomes a way to reward the “good” protestors – those who play by the rules – and punish the “bad” protestors – those who refuse to settle for piecemeal policies that will funnel undocumented youth into the U.S. war machine.

  22. Dulce escribió

    I really don’t see the problem with the military part of the DREAM Act. I think the DREAM Act is about having options, an option to attend college or join the military. If someone’s dream is to serve the United States by joining the armed forces then who am I to say that their dream is wrong because I do not agree with the war? I want our youth to have the same opportunities as American citizens including joining the armed forces.

    • Amy escribió

      Dulce escribió: “I want our youth to have the same opportunities as American citizens including joining the armed forces.”

      American citizens have the opportunity to receive financial aid for college, to work right out of high school if they choose, to join Americorps or similar programs if they want to serve their community, to travel and see the world to broaden their horizons, even to get in trouble with the law without forfeiting their right to live in this country.

      As it stands, the DREAM Act provides NONE of these opportunities.

      The problem with the military aspect of the DREAM Act is that the majority of undocumented youth would NOT have an option. For most, going to college is out of the question.

      Too many are coming out of underfunded schools that have not prepared them for college. Many need to work to support themselves and help their families. And with no financial aid and “out of state” tuition, college is completely out of reach for the majority.

      That leaves only the military. This is NOT “having options.”

  23. Dustin Nettleton escribió

    Do you have any, friends, contacts, or comrades that are undocumented and are also against the Dream Act. their statement would also, be very beneficial to the moment against Imperialism and the games of the Democrats. they would not need to say their name. we could circulate the statement as autonomous. Also, Thanks you so much for for seeking of the truth and coming out on this crucial issue facing our communities. In much Solidarity form the NC movement, keep me updated with the our struggle on you end. email me at djnettle@uncg.edu

  24. escribió

    Right on bro!

    Adelante,

    Rafael

  25. Mari escribió

    think that–from my own experience as well as with the students I work with–there seems to be a fear to stand up against the war. Because you are dealing with students who are suddenly told they do not have the right to vote or MUST NOT risk any sort of arrest as it would immediately lead to incarceration followed by deportation, they see the Dream act as a way of attaining rights, with those rights they feel entitled to participate in actions against the war. Many of the kids I work with are completely against the war but they feel helpless because they know that they aren’t recognized as a part of society. They see the dream act as a door to access being recognized. I think if anything it’ll empower them to continue to fight for injustices.

    Secondly, in terms of the struggle for the parents. No one I have interacted with has ever seemed discouraged from fighting for the rights of their parents. They see the Dream act as a way of getting “their foot in the door.” You have to understand many of these parents are highly uneducated, unable to articulate their ideas or even question that their status should be changed, let alone understand the role the U.S. played in getting them here to begin with. As students they see this is as the easiest way to gain recognition, they know that once they are able to occupy those government positions, attain those “successful” jobs, they will be the ones dictating the rules. But when you are not recognized as a participating citizen, when you cannot apply to jobs you are qualified for, you cannot drive, you cannot apply to certain colleges and you’re pushed into a system that forces you into taking the lowest paying jobs you do not feel capable of changing legislation.

    I don’t agree with the military aspect of the bill,but I sure as hell have faith in all those students and how much they would turn that around once they are granted a right to stay in the country without fearing deportation or risking the deportation of their families (whom many of them help support).

  26. angeles escribió

    i commend you for speaking truth even when it generates controversy and critique…you are speaking from your heart and i completely agree with you about fighting for a more comprehensive and real justice…justice that stands in solidarity with all who are oppressed rather than dividing ourselves to receive whatever crumbs the master gives us…it’s like the “house negro” /slave who conformed with being inside instead of in the fields…i know a lot of people are going to attack your position..but stay strong in what you see and keep fighting for the kind of dream you believe in…others will do the same…and while we may not agree with every person, remember that we are all seeing and living a different reality..and therefore willing to compromise different things…at the very least your writing will encourage a dialogue that exposes real issues and dilemmas in fighting for justice…and sooner or later…history will unfold..and you will feel proud for staying true to yourself and expressing your values even at the risk of being misunderstood…adelante…and so proud of you and all our people for staying in the fight at whatever level they are able to do so…

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