At Netroots Nation, Tell Sen. Reid to Push the DREAM Act Now

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In what I believe will go down as one of the most courageous acts in U.S. history, 21 unauthorized migrant youth were arrested on Tuesday after peaceful sit-ins to deliver one simple message to Congress: Pass the DREAM act now!  They were scolded immediately by a spokesperson from Sen. Dick Durbin's (D-IL) office:

Reached for comment following the arrests, a Durbin spokesman said, "Today's demonstrations by some DREAM Act supporters ... crossed the line from passionate advocacy to inappropriate behavior. The tide of public opinion has long been on the side of the DREAM Act -- it has broad bipartisan support in Congress, and poll after poll shows that people of all political persuasion believe in its goals. Sen. Durbin believes that we will win this fight on the merits, not through public demonstrations or publicity stunts."
Christina Wilkie - The Hill (20 July 2010)

Reading that sort of reaction you would think that unauthorized migrant youth did something violent.  But all they did was exposed the violence of the U.S. government whose reigns are almost entirely in Democrat hands, right now.  That's the only reason such a harsh and immediate statement was delivered by Durbin, a member of the Democrat leadership.  The photos of police arresting promising young students for the simple act of existence will forever be a reminder of the shame of the schizophrenic American DREAM.  This is the truth that undocumented youth were exposing on Tuesday.   
It's also why the statement from Durbin's office rings so hollow.  It is meant to be a harsh rebuke, but it comes off more as an abusive parent scolding a child who is now all grown up and can fight back.

The actions of the DREAM Act 21 had an immediate effect.  As my co-blogger Dave so eloquently reported, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was saying, just a short time ago, that there was no way he would allow the DREAM Act to pass on it's own

"We can't just do the DREAM Act," Sen. Reid replied matter-of-factly.
Marisa TreviƱo - Latina Lista (7 June 2010)
According to Roll Call, immediately following the civil disobedience, Sen. Reid is singing a different tune:

In an interview with La Opinion, the Nevada Democrat said he is largely leaving it up to reform advocates to tell him when a comprehensive bill is no longer viable and that the Senate should instead move to the narrower DREAM Act.

After backers of a comprehensive bill say "that they feel we cannot get [comprehensive immigration reform] done this year - and the reason why we cannot do it, it's because we don't have a single Republican -then I would like to figure out when can we do the DREAM Act. I would like to do it before the elections," Reid told La Opinion.
John Stanton - Roll Call (21 July 2010)
It's pretty clear that contrary to Durbin's statement, what the DREAM Act 21 did was not only courageous, it was extremely effective. 

Now the ball is in the hands of "reform advocates", or is it?  In the Congressional Quarterly "reform advocates" had this to say:

"It's really clear the majority of the country wants the immigration system fixed," said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum. "Doing it block by block is completely reasonable if it's done in a reasonable and humane way."

Angela Kelley, vice president for immigration policy at the Center for American Progress, said the DREAM Act might draw support from both sides of the aisle. "I'm hoping since it started as a bipartisan bill, it could end up being a bipartisan bill with bipartisan support," she said.

But, Kelley cautioned, "it's not easy to get anything done in this town."
Clea Benson - Congressional Quarterly (21 July 2010)
So if the reform advocates are on board, what is Reid waiting for? 

The only answer is that he's waiting to hear from you.  Sen. Reid is going to be speaking at Netroots Nation on Saturday.  Before then, here's a list of things you can do to pressure Reid to pass the DREAM Act, now:
  1. Submit a question through Netroots Nation asking why Reid isn't passing the DREAM Act, Now
  2. Sign a twitter petition asking Sen. Reid to pass the DREAM Act, now
  3. Leave a comment on this blog post saying your blog or your organization supports moving the DREAM Act, now.
  4. If you're at Netroots Nation, ask to sign a paper petition stating your support for moving the DREAM Act, now.
There's no question that we still need to solidify existing Republican support for the DREAM Act in the Senate, but there is absolutely no point in doing so if the Democrat leadership will not even bring up the DREAM Act for a vote.  It is time for Sen. Reid to commit to moving the DREAM Act, now.  

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If you haven't been on facebook, twitter, or following the news, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced yesterday that he would be introducing the DREAM Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.  Univision anchor J... Read More

1 Comments

plz-724 Author Profile Page said:

Dear Senator Harry Reid, you were elected to do a job, why should you be re-elected when you don't take leadership and initiative on important issues of this country such as the DREAM Act. You know that CIR is dead for this year, so my question is what are you waiting for to pass the DREAM Act? It has bi-partisan support, you passed healthcare without any Republican support, here is something that both parties can get behind. I hope you bring the DREAM Act into reality by this November.

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This page contains a single entry by kyledeb published on July 22, 2010 3:13 PM.

Dream Act 21 Arrested on Capitol Hill was the previous entry in this blog.

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