kyledeb: December 2010 Archives

If you haven't noticed, my co-blogger, David Bennion, has been blogging up a storm during the holidays.  I haven't seen him this active since he was at change.org, and I don't know if I've ever seen him this on point.  That's saying a lot for Dave.

I started blogging after the DREAM Act vote, but ended up taking more time for my family as the holidays approached and for the next week I'll try to completely disconnect myself from a computer as I spend time, as our family has done for generations, now, in the Bay Islands of Honduras.  On January 5, 2011, I should be back and more ready then ever to use this space to make change.
I'm going to continue the pro-migrant on-the-ground organizing work I've been doing in Massachusetts in Maine, but I'm hoping to make more time for the blogging I've recently neglected moving forward.  This is because I feel there needs to be an honest public conversation critiquing the pro-migrant movement up to this point, as well as a healthy discussion about how to move forward.

A small disclaimer before I begin: my voice, as always, is a small one among giants, particularly the giants of the migrant youth movement.  I agree with my co-blogger, Dave, when he says "Let DREAMers lead, allies must follow."  A big part of why I don't feel the need to blog anymore, is because I don't feel my voice is really needed with DREAMers speaking so loudly for themselves, these days.  Still, I'm hopeful that my humble thoughts will be useful to some.  As always I welcome thoughts and critiques, and am always open to changing my mind. 

There's been lot's of proclamations about never forgetting the Senators who voted against the DREAM Act on Dec. 18, 2010, but not a lot of clarity about exactly who to hold accountable.  Some people are saying Republicans blocked the DREAM Act, others are going hard after Democrats who blocked the DREAM Act.  I even made a slight mistake.  In referencing the five Democrats and 36 Republicans who blocked the DREAM Act, I neglected to mention the one Democrat and three Republicans who didn't even feel the DREAM Act was worth showing up for to vote on.  I don't know what's a greater form of disrespect, voting against us, or not even considering us worthy of showing up to vote for.  Even worse, all of the Senators who failed to show up to vote all publicly stated at some point or another that they would vote against us.

What follows is my analysis of exactly who to hold accountable in 2012 and why.  I will try to narrow down the list of 45 Senators who stood against us to a select group that I think we have the most power to influence going into 2012. 




Above are Renata and Ada repping the Student Immigrant Movement, which I am a proud member of, but see this post from United We Dream for more reflections from the leaders of the migrant youth movement.

By now you've probably heard that the DREAM Act was blocked in the U.S. Senate by five Democrats and 36 Republicans.  Before I continue I want to be clear about what happened: 

Everywhere I look mainstream media who up until this point as all but ignored the migrant youth movement is writing headlines like "DREAM Act Defeated", "DREAM Act Fails",  or "DREAM Act Dies."  The DREAM Act did not fail, the U.S. Senate failed the DREAM Act.  Only in very recent times has a passing vote of 216-198 in the U.S. House and a vote of 55-41 in the U.S. Senate meant failure.  I'm not going to get sidetracked into a diatribe about filibuster abuse in the U.S. Senate, right now.  I just wanted to tell everyone who feels the same emptiness in their stomach that I do, right now, that you didn't fail, the broken procedures of the U.S. Senate failed you. 

At the same time, for those of us that are committed to real business of making change in this world, we know that we're not dealing with the world as we'd like it to be, but with the world as it is.  In the world as it is, we needed 60 votes out of 100 in the undemocratic U.S. Senate in order to emancipate of hundreds of thousands of young undocumented Americans.  We all knew we needed 60 votes, and we didn't get them.  There will be plenty of time to analyze why we didn't get those 60 votes, but right now I just wanted to lay out some steps I think those of us in the movement should be taking.  I say all of the following first acknowledging my own 24-year-old inexperience and shortcomings in these matters.