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July 17, 2007


My mother tells me to tell you to contact your sentators in support of the DREAM Act, now being sponsored by Durbin, Hagel, and Lugar as an amendment to the Defense spending bill. The DREAM Act provides a six-year procedure that allows children brought to the US as illegal immigrants to become citizens if they graduate from high school and go on to college or the military.

My mother has seen close up, as part of an I Have A Dream program she works with, what a difference this would make for many kids. But there will inevitably be a flood of lies and a ton of pressure about this from the anti-immigration movement, so it's important for people who support it to speak up.

Posted at July 17, 2007 05:21 PM | TrackBack

military service: could you talk about that a little?

Posted by: hapa at July 17, 2007 05:48 PM

Thank you for writing about this.

Posted by: Aunt Deb at July 17, 2007 05:55 PM

I will not support any legislation that ties citizenship to military duty, and I'm surprised you would.

Posted by: Dayv at July 17, 2007 06:19 PM

It doesn't make people join the military. To qualify you have to graduate from a two-year college, OR complete two years at a four-year college, OR serve two years in the military.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at July 17, 2007 06:43 PM

ok. but i'm looking at it and can't find numbers for how much incentive it provides for HS grads to enlist (based on getting paid, vs paying next to nothing for community college AA/AS). the one thing i found said that there was a pool of 65,000 eligible from which about 15,000 went to college.

Posted by: hapa at July 17, 2007 06:49 PM

How unfortunate that this site doesn't mention the enormous downsides of the bill:

Is that because our host can't figure it out, or doesn't care?

Posted by: TLB at July 17, 2007 07:28 PM

the video is a hit piece on H(R)C about the bill taking education money away from other students. zero sum junk.

Posted by: hapa at July 17, 2007 08:40 PM

Time to confess I can often be found lurking in the comments to various posts, by yes, son Jon. You have viewpoints that interest me. (aside from the occasional folks who wander in who don't really want to have a conversation, but instead a diatribe)

The group I am with, the acronym is STEP/IHAD, began working with 3 kindergarten classes in a local DC elementary school 13 years ago. At the beginning there were 73 kids, most of whom came to Saturday classes, summer classes, tutoring or any other kind of activity we could sustain. You name it, we probably tried it. The idea was to make a difference in our city by going across the park - becoming a bridge from one community to another. In our city that park is named Rock Creek Park, but in any urban area there is a comparable section. I have lived in the Washington, DC metropolitan area for much of my life, but it was in the drives over and around Georgia Ave. that I came to know more than I'd ever known about my city.

The number of Dreamers has ebbed & flowed as families moved out of the original neighborhood into other metro areas. We "grandfathered" in a few brothers and sisters who are within a year of our original group.

By high school the students spread across the city and beyond, attending over 25 schools in all. This spring some of my best quality time was spent sitting in the audience holding flowers and kleenex as individual kids walked across a stage to get that high school diploma. Some are the first in their family to finish high school. Next month many will be the first in their family to set off for college. Next spring I look forward to seeing 20 more get their diplomas. Others have earned GED degrees while others are still figuring out what might come next.

I've done various activities over the years and even got Jon to act out a book with me when the kids were in First Grade. So, if I may hop on my soapbox, this fall, do yourself a favor: look for some local program that needs what you know how to do, walk into any school that could use a helping hand to offer yours, read with someone, work on a science project with someone who doesn't have a clue about what to put on that blank piece of poster board, or maybe go to a play with a kid and talk about it afterwards over a meal. Many students don't have anyone to talk to about their ideas or dreams or hopes. Be that listening ear.

We've learned all kinds of things from each other. I harbor the hope I live long enough to have them tell me what books they are reading to their own children. (I used to work in a Children's Bookstore, so that was the first thing I did, read to all the kindergarten classes on my day off from the Cheshire Cat.)

One of my best moments was when some of them said very seriously to several of us, "So, are you going to take on another I Have a Dream class?" We pointed to our graying hair. One of these days, I'm guessing they may do that for us. We have a few entrepreneurs who might just be able to fund a class in a few years.

Finally, the young people I've worked with, documented or not, have become an integral part of my life. They have a lot to offer the country I happened to be born in, but of course my ancestors came here as immigrants years ago, while theirs came more recently.

Posted by: Jody Schwarz at July 18, 2007 03:07 AM

It doesn't make people join the military. To qualify you have to graduate from a two-year college, OR complete two years at a four-year college, OR serve two years in the military.

There will, without a doubt, be some people who, do to whatever circumstances will not be able to attend two years of college, but will be accepted into the military.  Thus, for some subset of persons, citizenship will be tied to military duty.

I will not support any legislation that ties citizenship to military duty, no matter how small the subset of persons affected.

Posted by: Dayv at July 18, 2007 12:22 PM

And just to be clear, this isn't about limiting citizenship, it's about limiting (better yet, decreasing) the incentives for the underclass to volunteer to a life of servitude in the maintenance and expansion of the American Empire.

If I had my way, I'd basically hand out citizenship like candy.

Posted by: Dayv at July 18, 2007 12:29 PM
If I had my way, I'd basically hand out citizenship like candy.

I'm down with that. We're running out of nationalists and need to replenish.

Posted by: Ted at July 19, 2007 09:48 AM

OUR CITIZENS,OUR POPULATION, is our greatest reasourse, it increase it is to increase OUR WEALTH over all.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at July 19, 2007 11:08 AM

Everybody that wants to support the DREAM Act (Bill S.774) should take action.

Join the group at :

Call the senators and let them know that you support the dream act. Thousands of us are doing it everyday!

Posted by: Lutier2008 at July 23, 2007 07:59 AM

As it stands, illegal immigrants can volunteer for the military already. I think that the DREAM act would at least allow some people to get citizenship WITHOUT joining the military. My best friend is someone who has been here most of his life (Came legally as a child but was stranded when his parents died), has college degree, doesn't know anything about his home country or has any ties with it. He is highly supportive of this piece of legislation, and so am I.

Posted by: Aly at July 30, 2007 03:01 PM

I should clarify. Technically, illegals can't join the military, but it is a common practice that recruiters offer green cards to people who join the army. Check out this article for more info: Peace.

Posted by: Aly at July 30, 2007 03:24 PM

As I read all of your comments I was quite surprised to see how many people do agree with the DREAM ACT. I would like to thank those of you who support this proposal.

I, came to the United States when I was 7 yrs old. My family and I came in legally but later lost our status. Tried to legalize our situation in the country but were not able to after the horrible attacks of Sept 11th 2001. All of my academic studies have been in the United States, with the exception of Kindergaten, 1st and 2nd grade which I did in "my home country" (not mexico). My parents, who are both professionals, have always stressed the importance of education, receiving high grades (nothing below and 88) and community service. During second semester of my senior year, I remember crying because although I met and exceeded all of the requirements to receive scholarships and to apply to whichever college I decided, I knew that I wasn't going to be able to benefit from it because of my legal status. I never lost hope and my hard work paid off when I was awarded with a privately founded scholarship.(because it was privately founded, I was able to apply for it.) In my state, thousands of students applied for that scholarship and only 7 of us received it. Some may argue that I took the scholarship away from a 'citizens' but I dont feel that that is true. I earned that scholarship with all of my hard work and dedication. I summitted all of the information required, my excellent grades and years of community service did the rest.

Three months ago, I received my bachelor's degree. I graduated top of my class with a GPA of 3.8 out of 4.0 Additionally, among all of the graduating students in the department, I was recognized for having the best overall average. I'm very appreciative to the private organization that awarded me the scholarship. Their monetary support allowed me to receive the education that I wanted. However, today, I feel the same way I did when I was a senior in High School. I would love to get a masters degree but I can't..Not because of my grades but because of my status in this country. I can't practice my career. I can't even drive. I am very limited.

Do I consider myself a criminal? No I don't. Do I consider myself a victim? No. Do I consider myself American? Yes. I grew up here, I know America's history and government. I know about check and balances, the steps that a bill must go through to become a law (yes the Schoolhouse of rock song,"How a Bill Becomes a Law"); civil war, the historical struggles between the North and the South, black tuesday the Jim Crow Laws, Women's Suffrage, Separate but Equal, Brown vs. Board of Education, Shays Rebellion, Boston Tea Party, the current status of Social Security and the problems that will occur once all of the baby boomers retire..Not to mention of course Monday night football, Berry Bonds 756th homer and of course the crazy and extravagent lifestyles of the rich and famous who seem to be absolutely oblivious to the issues that we are faced with on a daily basis. (I dont know anything about my country of origin except for its location on the map, capital, colors of the flag and current president.)

I'm not a burden to the economy. I'm not going to say that all immigrants are nice, hardworking people because that is not true. Some are criminals and are not good for our society. They should be kicked out of the country. But not every immigrant is a crimal. I'm not saying give amnesty to all or give citizenships as if they were candy..No, no..I dont agree with that. I think it should be by merits. If I have been here for "X yrs" and can't speak a word of English and don't care to learn then I shouldn't be given the opportunity to fix my legal status. But if I have been here for "X yrs", got an education, paid taxes, have never committed a crime or have never been arrested then I should be able to benefit from a program that leads to legalization.

Please, support the DREAM ACT. Make a difference in a persons life. In my life.

Posted by: Help me conquer my DREAM at August 10, 2007 03:46 PM