broken dreams

Steve Benen: Less than two months ago, Sen. Dick Lugar (R) of Indiana was still touting his support for the DREAM Act … one of the strongest Republican supporters of the bill not only boasted about being a co-sponsor of the measure, but said he hoped it will actually pass this year.

And then he got a primary challenger.

“As the politics of the 2012 election heat up, GOP Sen. Richard Lugar declined today to join Democrats in reintroducing an immigration measure he’s long supported. Lugar has for years co-sponsored with Sen. Dick Durbin a bill to let illegal immigrants who grew up in the United States earn legal status through college or the military.”

….The senator wants to do the right thing, and understands how worthwhile the legislation would be, but suddenly can’t be responsible because right-wing activists in his home state will kick him out of work unless he panders to them shamelessly.

We’re starting to see the same thing with Olympia Snowe (R) in Maine, who’s moving to the right, and Orrin Hatch (R) in Utah, who’s already dropped his strong support for the DREAM Act and is quickly becoming one of the institution’s most buffoonish hacks. Both are facing credible primaries, and so both have given up their decency. Now, we see Lugar starting to do the same thing. It’s quite sad.

Full post here

49 Responses to “broken dreams”

  1. 1 UT Austin Liberal
    May 12, 2011 at 10:50 am

    I thought Repugs couldn’t sink any lower.. but they just keep on showing that they’re lower than pond scum. It’s disgusting when a person discards his/her core principles for so called lobbyists, primary challengers, and, the almighty dollar.

  2. 2 Sonjia Duncan
    May 12, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Now is the time for us to find strong democratic candidates to run for their positions. If they are going to pander to the tea-publicans we need to make sure it’s a three way race. Their base can’t be too happy with their republican governors we need to divide and conquer go after those seats.

  3. 3 laurie law
    May 12, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I am thinking of a new book with many chapters….Profiles in Cowardice….Republicans in decline.

    off to the office.

    May 12, 2011 at 11:02 am


  5. 5 Jessica
    May 12, 2011 at 11:02 am

    It’s a shame that all moderate Republicans and Democrats will be kicked out in 2012 (or already kicked out in 2010). The Dems are pulling more to the left just to balance out the extreme lurch to the right of the Republicans in the past couple of years. And now it’s getting harder to find common ground on anything as non-partisan and common sense as the Dream Act, HSR Infrastructure and reforming NCLB. It’s so extreme on both sides it’s making Barack Obama look like a straight up and down moderate when he’s truly progressive. I don’t want to live in a country where the 2 major parties can’t agree on ANYTHING! This isn’t just politics, this is people’s lives and well-being and all they are doing is playing kindergarten games. So disappointed in Washington, I would have never imagined it would get this bad when Barack was elected in November ’08.

  6. 6 Proud of Obama
    May 12, 2011 at 11:17 am

    OT: That vile Julie Mason has a negative story up on Politico which I will not link to falsely claiming PBO wouldn’t talk to the press when he did the CBS town hall. I found a comment to her story about the media and how it treats our brilliant President very spot on and thought it was worth sharing.

    “Good for the President and good for the country because the media in this country treat President Obama just like they treat the coverage of African Americans. The coverage by the media of the African American experience has always and continues to be a negative bias. And so too is the coverage of the President. Most stories about President Obama and his family are biased in negativity. Should the media cover this President in a positive light more americans would know how much he has helped them and this country during this time of economic hardship.

    It is amazing that the media and their journalist who make mega bucks are leaving it up to the historians who will tell the good that the President is doing and this President will go down in history as one of the greatest Presidents of all time. And it is going to be the historians to tell it because obviously journalists cannot seem to grasp his significance. Rand Paul just mentioned that the right to healthcare is likened to slavery. Let me just add this likeness to the media.

    Are the journalists slaves to there media owners and are required to print what their masters dictate to them. I was watching a Sunday news story about Doanld Trump with an African American Female panel member along with two white journalists. The question was raised if Trump’s comments about the President was racist. And the African American Female journalists went out of her way to say it couldn’t have been. One of white journalist who was middle aged said it might be. The other white journalist who was older said without a day it had to do with racism. The reason I point this out is because it seemed the African American Female knew because of her position now that she couldn’t come out and say yes racism could be a small part of it. Now that she works for a high powered white owned news organization she can’t tell the truth anymore she had to compromise her culture. The other two called it for what it is.”

    • May 12, 2011 at 11:26 am

      Nelson really is a vile piece of work, Proud, when Politico signed her up from The Washington Race-Baiting Examiner it was a fairly spectacular sign of where they wanted to go with their coverage. I had a post about her a while ago –


      – her obsession with race is something else.

      • 8 Proud of Obama
        May 12, 2011 at 11:29 am

        It’s really sickening, Chipsticks. I was happy to see the commenters setting her straight.

        • May 12, 2011 at 11:34 am

          It was a great reply Proud, I’m absolutely amazed Politico allowed it through. I tried to post a comment on their Click section once asking them why they allowed racist comments on their site – my comment wasn’t allowed through, but the racist comments remained.

          You have to love the way Nelson bitches about the President not talking to the press yesterday, only to the public! Pathetic.

    • 10 Dorothy Rissman
      May 12, 2011 at 12:49 pm

      Thank you Proud. I am sure the vile julie just tossed the comment out the window because it was just an obot defending the president. I think I hears some oinks. Heeeerrrrrre piggie!

      Proud, is it okay to ask how you are doing? dr

  7. 11 StR
    May 12, 2011 at 11:33 am

    The DREAM act doesn’t have any chance of passing anyways. It lost 5-6 Dem votes last time for a cloture vote – I doubt it would even have enough votes to get 50 now.

    I don’t know why this is being brought up again, other than as “gotcha” votes for Heller and possibly Brown.

    • 12 meta
      May 12, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      It’s being brought up now because it’s very important to the Latino community and it’s important that everyone go on record with their vote.

    • 13 Dorothy Rissman
      May 12, 2011 at 1:02 pm

      Well, I am sure that the odds of passing are slim. I have some doubts about the progressive dem senators, who are up for election in 2012, voting for the bill. The Sherrod Brown, Debbie Stabenow,….. and others from red or pink states.

      It is not just repubs who play this game. A big group of progressive dems in the senate voted against the EPA because they knew it would hurt their chances of being elected.

      Which brings me to the issue of terms limits. It seems both sides have forgotten they are there for purposes other than reelection.

      Regardless of what happens, at least it has become an issue again. That is a good thing.

      • 14 hopefruit2
        May 12, 2011 at 1:13 pm

        Isn’t Sherrod Brown considered a “liberal” Democrat? He was all over the waves blasting the President for making the tax cut compromise deal and was among the PL’s heroes last year. Why won’t he vote for a progressive piece of legislation?

        • 15 Dorothy Rissman
          May 12, 2011 at 1:52 pm

          Yes he is hopefruit. He cares more about being reelected than standing tall. Politics. It is difficult to come to terms with the reality of this. He votes for a lot of good things, but to try to restrict the EPA on carbon emissions is not acceptable. The 13 dems who voted against it also wrote the president a letter prior to the vote and asked him to not allow the emissions standards to be lowered–“only for a year or two”. They even tried to get the president to take the fall for the dismantling the EPA.

          Carl Levin voted against it too. Bill Nelson of Florida.

          As to Mr. Brown, I am sick and tired of him going on msnbc and berating the president for something specific or just to say, the president does not understand…..blah, blah, blah.

  8. 16 dotster
    May 12, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Repubs always seem to change with the wind, abandon long held principles/policies for partisan political reasons. See: Romney. President Obama has often noted the same, expressing disbelief that Repubs have voted against Dem legislation they had formerly proposed. Could it be because Repubs have shallow characters, no real core beliefs, only interested in political power and never about doing what is right and good for the country, do ya spose?

  9. 17 GGail
    May 12, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I have a friend who is Latino. He has a daughter who was born here in the US. She is currently in her first year of college studying Political Science. I am forwarding these posts and the White House emails on Immigration to him to pass on to her so she and her friends and family members can utilize this information. Let’s keep HOPE alive. The more informed the Latino community becomes, the more involved politically they will become – is my belief! And he is passing them on to her, he emailed me yesterday to thank me for providing this information!

  10. 18 fig8jam
    May 12, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    It has not been clear to me why any Americans should support the Dream Act. What do supporters believe the reason is to support this?

    • 19 Jessica
      May 12, 2011 at 1:20 pm

      Because it’s common sense legislation. Children who were brought here illegally by their parents and raised here are American but don’t have the ‘papers’. If they pass this legislation then those children who complete college (2 0r 4) years or join the military will be able to apply and most likely granted citizenship. It’s about not punishing children for their parents mistakes and rewarding the best and the brightest and they won’t have to live in fear of deportation.

      • 20 fig8jam
        May 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm

        I have not been convinced that the legislation is common sense. Why are the individuals not naturalized citizens? Why have they failed in all the time they were in school to pursue citizenship without a Dream Act? How is that being punished for what parents did, when the individual has had opportunity to apply for naturalized citizen. Sure they may have been brought here, but what prevented them from pursuing naturalized citizenship.

        America can recognize the best and brightest without a Dream Act. There is already a legal process in press to become a citizen.

        The Dream Act appears to be a shortcut for individuals who have simply failed to use the legal system and means already in place to become a citizen.

    • 21 meta
      May 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm

      The President and supporters believe the Dream Act contributes to our economic and national stability.
      Let’s be clear about what the Dream Act is.

      The purpose of the DREAM Act is to help those individuals who meet the requirements to have an opportunity to enlist in the military or go to college and have a path to citizenship that they otherwise would not have. It gives undocumented immigrant students who have been living in the U.S. from a young age a chance to contribute back to the country. Here are the specific requirements that must be met to qualify for the current version of the DREAM Act under consideration:

      Must have entered the United States before the age of 16 (15 and younger)
      Must have been present in the United States for at least five (5) consecutive years prior to enactment of the bill
      Must have graduated from a United States high school, or have obtained a GED, or have been accepted into an institution of higher education (college/university)
      Must be between the ages of 12 and 35 at the time of application
      Must be of good moral character

      If the DREAM Act were to pass, an undocumented individual meeting these qualifying conditions would have to file an application and, if approved and granted Conditional Permanent Residency, be subject to the following:

      *Enroll in an institution of higher education in order to pursue a bachelor’s degree or higher degree or
      *Enlist in one of the branches of the United States Military
      *Within 6 years of approval for conditional permanent residency, the individual must have completed at least two (2) years of one of the options outlined in the previous step
      *Once 5 1/2 years of the 6 years have passed, the individual will then be able to apply for Legal Permanent Residency and consequently will be able to apply for United States Citizenship
      *Those who have already completed at least 2 years of college education towards a bachelor’s degree or higher degree, will still have to wait the 5 1/2 years in order to apply for Legal Permanent Residency even though you may have already obtained a degree.

      These students are eligible for students loans and work-study but not any other federal student aid.
      Students who do not complete these requirements will be disqualified.

      • 22 Dorothy Rissman
        May 12, 2011 at 1:53 pm

        Excellent job Meta. thx

      • 23 Jessica
        May 12, 2011 at 2:36 pm

        What you said.

      • 24 fig8jam
        May 12, 2011 at 2:50 pm

        Why are these individuals simply not applying for naturalized citizenship? Why would America have to create another route when the person did not pursue citizenship on their own.

        It seems like folks are being given a pass. They have completed HS without citizenship and ignoring the law. Why now, should America turn around and reward that illegal behavior?

        As far as military goes, friends who are officers, have already stated that individuals can sign up for military without being citizens and they are allowed in the military and then their citizenship papers are expedited.

        Which means there is already a system in place, again, that is legal and non-punitive that allows illegal aliens to serve their country by signing up for military.

        If kids can pursue getting a driver’s license in HS they should also pursue citizenship or sign up for the military.
        If you take advantage of free public schools, are not a citizen, then it should be your obligation to serve voluntarily to earn citizenship.

        That is a system presently in place, and there would be no need for the Dream Act…nor all the politically devisisive and polarizing this policy creates.

        America already has enough of those without adding more on the table.

        • 25 Sue in Minnesota
          May 12, 2011 at 6:07 pm

          I have no idea and it is why I am asking? If a young person is born and or raised here from an early age and their parents are illegals, if say while in HS they pursue legal citizenship, in that act would they be exposing their parents or family members that are illegal? If so, that is a very difficult dynamic to square, even for highly principled individuals.

          • 26 fig8jam
            May 12, 2011 at 6:36 pm

            OK, but should highly principled individuals continue to support behaviors that were in error from the beginning?

            And if, you are illegal, as your family members are then having eluded and decieved the system to access a public education, serving in the military as a route to citizenship should be an alternative and that would not entail a new piece of legislation and a national debate that is polarizing.

            At what point should the individuals be held accountable for the original illegal act?

  11. 27 GGail
    May 12, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    And it’s not just limited to Latinos. We have children who’s parents came from other countries that were unaware that they were not legal until they went to college. Here in California we have many Asian students at UCLA and UC campuses who were shocked when they discovered that they weren’t legal. All of these children/students can become assets to our tax base, our economy, lend their intelligence towards our goals of the future.

    • 28 meta
      May 12, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      Yes! Excellent point, GGail.

    • 29 fig8jam
      May 12, 2011 at 2:52 pm

      All of those children can become assets by signing up and serving our country. They should not be eligible for more taxpayer funded benefits that are a right of citizenship.

      • 30 kittypat
        May 12, 2011 at 4:31 pm

        Without passage of something like the Dream Act those children would not be able to sign up and serve in the military. It is a strenuous pathway to legal residence and then citizenship, I don’t believe we should penalize young people who were brought here through no fault of their own.

        • 31 fig8jam
          May 12, 2011 at 6:41 pm

          This is not about penalizing people. Rather, it is about being accountable for illegal behavior.

          Yes, they can sign up. Individuals, who are illegal aliens, already use the military as a route to citizenship.There are numerous individuals in the military right now who are earning citizenship.

          I don’t feel we should penalize taxpayers by using tax funds that implicitly condone illegal actions. Doing so increases the frequency of the actions being repetitive. If a child can inherit the land and assets of their parents then they also inherit the illegal issue.

          Individuals should volunteer to serve in the military to account for those illegal actions.

          • May 12, 2011 at 7:19 pm

            “If a child can inherit the land and assets of their parents then they also inherit the illegal issue.”

            Sounds incredibly harsh to me, fig8jam! I don’t think ‘the sins of the father’ should ever ‘be laid upon the children’ – that’s why I like the basic principle behind the DREAM Act and similar ‘paths-to-citizenship’ efforts around the world. The illegal actions were committed by the parent(s), not the children in these cases, so I just don’t see why they should be ‘punished’. I understand your point about the burden on taxpayers, I don’t really know the answer to that, and I wouldn’t expect any nation to grant citizenship to people who show no indication – either through work or education – of making a meaningful contribution. But I do think it’s a sign of a nation’s basic decency to offer a path to citizenship to people whose parents committed the illegal act, not them, who have built their lives there and who want to make contributions as citizens.

            But I really hate the idea of expecting them to serve in the military – no one should ever be compelled to sign up. There are plenty of ways to make those meaningful contributions to a country besides joining the military. Just my opinion!

            • 33 UT Austin Liberal
              May 12, 2011 at 9:41 pm

              Thank you Chipsticks for that wonderful point of view. No offense to fig8jam, but I thought his/her comments were incredibly harsh. And even when everyone explained the reason and concept behind the Dream Act, to just nonchantly say that they should join the military as though that is a silver bullet is a somewhat shallow way of looking at this complex issue. Joining the military doesn’t automatically solve their problems. It is a worthy cause.. but not to be entered lightly because what military people face emotionally, physically, and mentally is no joke. One is not guaranteed immortality and doesn’t know if he/she will return from battle alive or dead. So once again.. thanks Chipsticks.

            • 34 fig8jam
              May 13, 2011 at 7:57 am

              I try not to make judgemental statements because it seems that can devolve into non-productive discussion. I mean what good does it do for statements to be described as harsh? Should I respond that others statements are lack principle and are irrationally emotional?

              I think not.

              That would focus on the poster in an attempt to create negativity around them vs direct the discussion on the issue. The kind of thing we daily express disgust for and rebuke when others vilify POTUS vs. provide cogent analysis for opposition to policies and not the POTUS. It is so predictable that it engenders just a piling on effect which we abhor on cable TV every day. So I will refrain from using descriptors that are emotionally inflammatory and deflect from the issue.

              While you suggest ‘sins of father’ not ever ‘be laid on children’ is basic principle and that serving in the military is somehow a punishment; do you also believe that the inheritance of any money that was gained/earned by parents is not inheritable either? Somehow, the kid can only inherit the good and is not accountable for the other? I think not. Children, like all human beings, are products of their environment. There are few who escape that reality. If, your parents chose to provide you with the privileges and rights of American citizenship, then it should be your duty to repay them and society by serving in the nation.

              Gaining an education illegally is not a contribution to society it is an unlawful use of the nations resources without any intent to contribute.

              Serving in the U.S. military is NOT a punishment and if it is to any illegal alien or American they need their head examined.

              Our nations’ basic decency is the reason that individuals have been able to take advantage of the public education this nation has while being an illegal alien. Our nation is a lenient and compassionate country and being able to serve in the military is in no way a contradiction to that.
              In fact, it is a honor.

              What is glaringly obvious is that American’s somehow think that serving in the military is HARSH? Why would any American believe that military service is somehow less than honorable or harsh?

              That individuals who are compelled to gain citizenship have somehow been punished and made to contribute in a way that is punitive?

              Shame on any American who cast service in the military as a punishment for illegal acts against this nation. If you reap the rewards and use the resources of our nation and have a life that is full of opportunity if anything you should WANT to give back at the highest level of service to a great country that afforded you the dream of a lifetime, personal freedom AND an education.

              To serve is the highest honor and it is very disturbing for individuals to suggest otherwise.

              Just my humble opinion!

              • May 13, 2011 at 8:43 am

                Hi fig8jam,

                If you’re going to completely misrepresent what I say I really don’t see the point in debating with you!

                Where did I say serving in the military is a “punishment”? Nowhere.

                Where did I denigrate military service? Nowhere.

                What I said was:

                “I really hate the idea of expecting them (ie illegal immigrants) to serve in the military – no one should ever be compelled to sign up. There are plenty of ways to make those meaningful contributions to a country besides joining the military. Just my opinion!”

                And that is my strong personal opinion – and we’re all entitled to those!

                You find it “disturbing” that I should think there are ways other than military service to make a meaningful contribution to a country? Seriously? You don’t think people who work, for example, in education, medical research, healthcare, law enforcement, emergency services, or volunteer to help the disadvantaged and elderly make a meaningful contribution to society?

                And because I respect people who work in those areas and believe that they make an invaluable contribution to society that is automatically a slur on military service? It’s not.

                Fig8jam, not everyone is ‘designed’ to serve in the military, physically or emotionally, but that doesn’t mean they can’t contribute to making society a better place. I don’t see why we can’t respect all those contributions, including military service, equally, without turning it in to a competition over who’s ‘best’.

                On the issue of illegal immigrants (I really wish you’d stop calling them ‘aliens’!), we’ll never agree, so we’ll leave it there.

                • 36 fig8jam
                  May 13, 2011 at 9:36 am

                  No problem with refraining from calling them illegal aliens.

                  That was actually a slip because that is how Americans are referred to in other countries when they lack citizenship. My bad. Illegal immigrant, it is we can agree on that.

                  When you wrote, that you believe that it was the sins of parents and kids should not be punished for that, what did you mean?

                  “The illegal actions were committed by the parent(s), not the children in these cases, so I just don’t see why they should be ‘punished’”

                  I have no intent to misrepresent you Chipsticks, but if you are not opposing obligatory military service, as a rebuttal and that is not the punishment, what is it that you are referring to?

                  Help me understand what you are referring to as punishment, please.

                  If military service is unacceptable as the route to citizenship why?

                  Yes, I believe that individuals do contribute in numerous meaningful ways to society as citizens. I also believe that if you avail yourself of the resources of this country illegally there should be repayment. Heck, even if you only take out federal loans for education our nation can demand service on Indian reservations or underserved areas or third world countries as recompense for us providing those monies. That is when you are already legally a citizen.

                  So, now we should just say to someone who we provided education you get citizenship and we HOPE you will contribute? Doing that devalues American citizenship, as the individual gained and could likely contribute nothing in return. Just as many Americans defaulted on their student loans.

                  Individuals given an opportunity in this country based on utilizing taxpayer dollars don’t just get to choose their meaningful contribution back to society.

                  The world needs to know there is a price for being an illegal immigrant who now wants citizenship after illegally using all the nations resources, whether it is education, legal defense, employment or healthcare there should not just be a free ride. Individuals who want to immigrate here illegal need to know you WILL serve in the military, if you choose to abuse the system. That is the defined route.

                  Anything less, does not place a high enough price on the rights and privileges of American citizenship.

                  • May 13, 2011 at 11:07 am

                    Hi fig8jam,

                    Thanks for dropping the “aliens”! It’s not actually true that Americans without citizenship are referred to as aliens in all other countries, enlightened places have dropped the term (or never used it in the first place) – thankfully.

                    “When you wrote, that you believe that it was the sins of parents and kids should not be punished for that, what did you mean?”

                    I’m showing my ignorance here, I don’t know the origin of that old quote (something like “the son should not be punished for the sins of the father”) – the bible? – but it’s an often used line for debates like this. To me it’s a basic truth.

                    The meaning is that no child should be ‘punished’ for offenses committed by their parent(s) – an extreme example: a child whose father is a murderer should not be ‘punished’ by society by being shunned, denied work, etc. The child is innocent of the offense, after all.

                    I used it to sum up my understanding of the aim of the DREAM Act – the ‘punishment’ in this case is either the deportation of children of illegal immigrants, even though they grew up in America and their illegal presence there was not of their doing, or the denial of any opportunity to acquire citizenship.

                    A simple case study: Joe and Ann illegally enter America with their one month old daughter Jill. Eighteen years later the authorities catch up with the family. Whatever about the fate of Joe and Ann (we’re talking about the children of illegal immigrants here), what do you think should happen Jill? She has spent all but a month of her life in America, she is an American. Should she be deported back to the country of her birth, a country she never knew? Punished for a decision her parents made when she was one month old? Told she can only stay if she serves in the military? Or should she be given a broader path to citizenship , as the DREAM Act proposes?

                    From Wikipedia – The Act offers conditional permanent residency to students who graduate from high schools, who are of good moral character, arrived in the U.S. legally or illegally as minors … If they were to complete two years in the military or two years at a four year institution of higher learning, the students would obtain temporary residency for a six year period. Within the six year period, a qualified student must have “acquired a degree from an institution of higher education in the United States or [have] completed at least 2 years, in good standing, in a program for a bachelor’s degree or higher degree in the United States,” or have “served in the armed services for at least 2 years and, if discharged, [have] received an honorable discharge.”

                    That sounds fair to me. The path offered to ‘minors’ is either serving in the military or pursuing higher education, either way they can make a contribution to the country.

                    I am, definitely, opposed to obligatory military service, not, as you suggest, because I view it as a punishment, but because not everyone is designed, physically or emotionally (as I said before) for military service. I disagree with your implication, too, that only through military service can a person truly prove their loyalty to a country – I think that’s a very narrow definition of loyalty, to be honest.

                    Basically fig8jam, it comes down to whether or not you want to ‘punish’ the children of illegal immigrants, or give them a chance to become citizens of the country where they have grown up. That’s the choice.

                    • 38 fig8jam
                      May 14, 2011 at 9:14 am

                      I guess you will have to call me harsh again.

                      To grant citizenship based on emotions is just unwise and generally unjust. No one better than AfricanAmericans understands how discriminate individuals emotions can be. The atrocities committed by the KKK stands out as a prime example of emotion over reason.

                      We are a nation of laws and should not be swayed by individuals trying to skirt the law and use their presence here illegally as justification for becoming citizens,as that just encourages more people do engage in the same illegal behaviors.

                      I see many unintended consequences of the Dream Act. Some of which are already taking a toll on legal citizens.

                      Illegal immigrants can and do impact the privileges of those who are citizens as they find the economy harmed; when the labor pool is larger and that depresses wages or individuals accept lower wages that do not support an American standard of living.

                      It is extremely sad that right now in this nation there is absolutely no place nationwide an individual can rent an apartment making the minimum wage. Illegal immigrants keep wages depressed as they are cheap labor source. It’s not that American citizens do not want those jobs. It’s they know those wages will not support an American standard of living. Americans know it will take 2 jobs just to rent an apartment. Illegal immigrants cost many Americans the right to earn a living wage and have the very ‘american dream’ they are entitled to as legal citizens.

                      With the Dream Act, legal citizens, could find their college bound kids without higher education monies. As the loans or grants have been distributed to illegal immigrants who applied en masse and now their are no funds for those who are legal citizens. Universities could prefer the cultural diversity the illegal immigrant brings over the American citizen and accept more illegal immigrants than legal citizens in freshman classes.

                      Illegal immigrants have significant impact on the entitlements of citizenship. Many elementary/secondary school children are sitting in crowded classrooms and not getting a good education due to over crowding of classrooms by illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants get bilingual education as English is their second language for free in public schools. The english speaking legal citizens, however, are not entitled to learn a second language. American elementary kids who are citizens are not being taught a second language. Those same kids all grow up and compete for jobs and the bilingual kid is more qualified simply by speaking another language. The child who is the citizen loses out and so do their parents when they return home with a college degree and can’t find a job… they live at home.

                      English is the common bond of Americans, yet nowadays banks, service centers and businesses require you to press 1 if you want English to accomodate illegal immigrants. You have to speak English to become a citizen you see legally but nowadays so many illegal immigrants don’t speak English, that citizens of this nation have compassionately accomodated them to the detriment of our legal citizens.

                      I can see many unintended consequences of the Dream Act, including poor quality healthcare due to overcrowding of urgent care centers, emergency rooms and hospitals. Staff spend inordinate time trying to figure out what is wrong because the person does not speak English while legal citizens wait long hours to receive service.

                      Legal citizens help suffers when the health institutions hire professionals on green cards/visas with thick accents and the patient cannot understand or communicate with the green card immigrant. Individuals take wrong meds and their health deteriorates because they do not understand what the individual is saying.

                      If you look back at history and U.S.immigration laws in the 70s you will also learn this country opened up access to immigrants following the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The displacement of African Americans from service jobs as waiters, domestics, porters, caterers, maids etc.was no accident. Just as ACCESS to opportunity was granted the labor pool was flooded so African Americans could be replaced and denied the economic benefits of that access of opportunity. A permanent jobless underclass was created. Illegal Immigrants of color are hired instead. Immigration had been severely limited for non-Europeans up until then.

                      I volunteer at soup kitchens, donate clothes to Veterans/salvation army, donate food to food pantries and teach kids/adults to read afterschool. I do not believe in deportation, but given how my ancestors fought, died, hung from trees and were beaten, hosed and brutalized as legal citizens trying to exercise their citizenship rights I do not take granting citizenship privileges lightly.

                      Bottomline,I think Jill should go with her family just as she came with her family. Jill has no more rights as an American citizen than her parents do. None of them are citizens of this country. Ergo, they are not entitled to the rights and privileges of being an American citizen. When you gain access illegally to this nation and illegally utilize the nations resources that does not make you American.

                      Signing up and serving in the military is the only route I would support.

                      Deportation or serve in our military. That’s choice, too.

                      thanks for the discussion Chipsticks…

                      Peace and blessings

                    • May 14, 2011 at 10:00 am

                      Thanks for the discussion too, fig8jam. To me ‘Jill’ is already an American and deserves the chance to gain citizenship through a route other than the military, but we’ll just agree to disagree. I’m sure, though, that Native Americans would smile at our debate, they’d be entitled to view the entire American population, apart from themselves, as ‘illegal immigrants’! Take care.

          • 40 kittypat
            May 12, 2011 at 9:15 pm

            It is my understanding that immigrants have to be documented to enlist that is they must have either a green card or a temporary visa.

  12. 41 GGail
    May 12, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Chipsticks – once again I want to thank you for providing such a safe environment where one can ask an important question like fig8jam did and receive qualified informational answers (great job meta!) so that they can make informed decisions. I am so proud to be a member of the TOD family. Keep up the good works everybody.

    • 42 Dorothy Rissman
      May 12, 2011 at 2:44 pm

      GGail, so true, so true. Can you imagine the screams and hysteria if someone has a legitimate question on other sites? Gouging out of eyes, venom flowing like a river.

    • 43 fig8jam
      May 12, 2011 at 2:54 pm

      I second that. GGail. I did not know the details and was very appreciative to have meta share that with me.

      While I remain unconvinced of the merits of the Dream Act, it is nice to post in an environment where the issue can be discussed without rancor or derisiviness.

  13. 44 GGail
    May 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    fig8jam, You ask why can’t they sign up and serve our country? Well, I for one would not have made it through bootcamp and I’m a born n bred USA African American. Not everyone is destined for military service. And I don’t think we want it that way. Just think back on the story the President recounted in El Paso, if that young immigrant boy child had be directed to the military only, we would have lost a valuable member of the space program. We must draw upon compassion and help the citizenship process. I believe POTUS is working on making it less cumbersome and costly. It would be nice if we still had Ellis Island functioning. All foreigners would stop at Ellis, get their paperwork in order then cross over into the USA, but alas, we don’t so we must find another way. Keep thinking and asking questions fig8jam – you could be just the person we need to fix the immigration system!

    • 45 fig8jam
      May 12, 2011 at 6:49 pm

      I agree GGail that not everyone is “bred” to serve in the military. However, this is a situation where we are talking about a path to citizenship. It is not a destiny of choice simply because the law was broken. And when you break the law you will be held accountable.

      We do not lose people by directing them to serve in the military. When his time has been served that boy could still be a valuable member of the space program. If individuals can delay legally pursuing citizenship, they can also delay pursuing their “destined” career path because they are not citizens in this country. Who knows they may find that all the benefits of being a veteran alone propels them further in life, with a GI Bill, as well as numerous federal training opportunities.

      Compassion and help is all there when you serve in the military. Compassion is significant when you are not deported by simply volunteering to serve in the armed forces of the country which has already afforded you the benefits of citizenship with a free public education, that you were not entitled to as an illegal alien.

      I wholeheartedly advocate military service for all individuals who want to repay their debt to this nation by serving the country that has already afforded them a dream…the dream of being educated K-12. That is a significant investment and deeply compassionate.

  14. 46 Luci1119
    May 12, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Heyyyyyyyyy, now that’s a great answer GGail, because you just never ever know 🙂

  15. 47 meta
    May 12, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    This is a good conversation but I just have to say, the American economy has never ever in our history operated without cheap (or slave) labor that has been provided by waves of immigrants. I don’t think there can be any doubt that our country has advanced on the backbreaking labor of oppressed classes. In many regions, it’s these economic forces that primarily drive illegal immigration. So I think it can be quite deceptive to talk about immigration outside of the market forces that drive it and the employers who cultivate it. As for Latino immigration, this is especially true in regions that were once the territory of Mexico and there are lots of restrictions that prevent people from applying for permanent residency.

    Also, on the issue of paying taxes, avoiding paying taxes in this country is nearly impossible. Undocumented workers pay payroll taxes (i.e. FICA and Medicare) using either an invalid Social Security number or a Tax Identification Number (TIN). Last year, 1.4 million people filed tax returns using TIN numbers, an increase of 40% over the previous year. Undocumented workers pay sales taxes on items purchased in most states and localities.

    The IRS estimates that about 6 million undocumented immigrants file individual income tax returns each year. Congressional Budget Office research indicates that between 50% and 75% of undocumented immigrants pay federal, state, and local taxes. Undocumented immigrants are estimated to pay in about $7 billion per year into Social Security, the benefits of which they will never see.

  16. 48 Titti
    May 13, 2011 at 6:26 am

    Thanks for the education guys. I think it is an ingenious proposal to help those who through no fault of their own landed on your ‘shores’.

    • 49 fig8jam
      May 13, 2011 at 8:07 am

      I would love to agree with this statement.

      Yet, I am forced to put it in historical context as it makes me ponder why those of us whose ancestors were also brought to these ‘shores’ through no ‘fault of their own’ were not granted the rights of citizenship despite being citizens.

      Full citizenship rights had to be earned with blood, sweat and tears…millions died and I just do not feel anyone should be handed citizenship on a silver platter.

      NOPE. Despite the magnitude of contributions to the society or potential to contribute it costs LIVES. Individuals who illegally take advantage of the nations resources should have a mandate to give back.

      It is the only way to respect the sacrifice that generations of people gave and suffered so that their own children would be able to have the dignity and respect of American citizenship.

      IOW’s if your mom and dad brought you here illegally..you and them have a obligation to serve militarily. America should not just be their free lunch.

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