The DREAM Act. Some thoughts.
I was 18 years old when the first DREAM Act was introduced in 2001. It's been sixteen years, and the DREAM Act was once again introduced. What I went through for the next eight years after it failed was hell. Every day I wish that no one has to go through it.
I heard all sorts of excuses, including, "we couldn't vote for it/ support it, because it would further hurt our community." I understand. But enforcement, anti-immigrant policies will happen even if the DREAM Act fails. I know because anti-immigrant policies have prevailed since 2001. Hundreds of thousands of people have been deported since 2001.
Sadly, people will continue to get deported with a DREAM Act or without it. But let's make sure we minimize the damage while moving the conversation forward. I say this as someone whose family wouldn't qualify for the DREAM ACT.
I agree that we cannot leave people behind, and we should fight so that the bill is as inclusive as possible, without further criminalizing our community. But, the reality is that we will have to make compromises. We have to change our strategy because the future of so many people are at stake.
If you are choosing not to support the DREAM Act, I respect that. I respect you. Please be respectful of those of us that are choosing to support it and fight so that another sixteen years do not go by without a legislative solution.
Liberation and legalization are two totally separate things. I am a U.S citizen now, but I continue to fight daily for my liberation and even with a U.S. passport I still get nervous when I go through customs. The difference is that I know I won't be deported.
These issues are complicated and difficult. I am so nervous that so many people's hopes are resting on a bill that may fail. It may fail because politicians, or because activists. I remember how much I cried, and how hopeless I felt after the DREAM Act failed and failed. I cannot stand on the sidelines.
Let's keep pushing forward.