A push for citizenship
Activists reach out for immigration act
Ryan Hagen and James Rufus Koren, Staff Writers
San Bernardino County Sun
Posted: 12/01/2010 08:26:34 PM PST
With the U.S. Senate likely to vote today on the DREAM Act, local students and activists worked this week to get Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to support the bill.
Students are hoping the senator will be one of 60 lawmakers (to prevent a filibuster) convinced that children of people who entered the U.S. illegally have a right to citizenship through an education and through military service.
"The DREAM Act is intended to prevent young people from being punished for the actions of their parents, giving them the opportunity to obtain legal status by pursuing a higher education or by serving in the American armed forces - for the country they grew up in and embrace as their own," said Diego Castro, a senior at Washington High
Gina Mirelez of the California Dream Team on Tuesday night calls voters to support the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act would give many students who are illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. (LaFonzo Carter/Staff Photographer)
School in Colton, as he called voters in Alaska.
The words, encouraging Alaskans to call on Murkowski to vote for the DREAM Act - or Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act - were printed on a two-page script from which eight callers drew phrases, depending on the response.
"Everybody right now is trying to think more of themselves, they're trying to make a living for the family," said Jesus Rivera, 19, a Colton resident who is working to save up money for college. "But we need to show them this is what's fair and good for everyone."
This week's phone drive, held at the San Bernardino Community Service Center, focused on Alaska voters. During other events, local activists have called voters in Utah and Nebraska, all of them identified as progressive, based on earlier phone bank efforts.
San Bernardino Valley College student Hector Guzman, 18, said nearly everyone he spoke to agreed to call Murkowski and that the economic argument convinced most.
"We're not trying to pass a handout - we're trying to help those who go to college, go to the Army, do something progressive in their lives," Guzman said. "If (illegal immigrants) get their papers here, they'll start working, which means they'll be paying more taxes, so it's money for everyone."
And just a few of those calls could shift the senator's position, Guzman said.
"She's iffy about it. She's 50-50, so if we get her to 51, it helps," he said.
That might be a touch optimistic, as it's likely that Murkowski and other Senate Republicans, along with some Democrats, will block a vote on the DREAM Act.
She and the other 41 Senate Republicans signed a letter Monday saying they will not allow a vote on any legislation until and unless the Senate votes on budget bills and an extension of federal tax cuts.
"While there are other items that might ultimately be worthy of the Senate's attention, we cannot agree to prioritize any matters above the critical issues of funding the government and preventing a job-killing tax hike," said the letter, addressed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
The letter made no specific mention of the DREAM Act. The proposal would give citizenship to those who illegally entered the country before they were 15 if they serve in the military or graduate from college.
Rep. Joe Baca, D-San Bernardino, an outspoken supporter of the DREAM Act, said things don't look good for the legislation during the final weeks of this congressional session.
"I am hopeful that some Republicans will work with Democrats to pass the DREAM Act, but at this point, it seems very doubtful the legislation will advance in the Senate," Baca said. "Republicans are content to use immigration as a political wedge issue that divides the American people. But when it comes to working towards real solutions, like the DREAM Act, they don't want any part of it."
Cal State San Bernardino senior Ivan Rosales is in Washington lobbying those senators directly to pass the bill.
"(Republicans) say they support it, but there's always a reason why they won't (vote for it) this time," said Rosales, who came to the United States when he was 1. "I can't imagine someone thinking a 1-year-old was committing a crime because they were born outside the country. ...
"I consider myself an American, and I want to serve it as a military doctor and cancer researcher."
Critics of the bill, though, have called it a "backdoor amnesty" for illegal immigrants.
Read more: http://www.sbsun.com/ci_16754868#ixzz171ZmUEf4
Comrades, the majority of the American people, both White and non-White have made it clear that they do NOT want this act to pass. But does our government care? Yeah, sure they do. They're going to pass this thing if they think it will benefit them, despite how the people feel. They'll pass the DREAM ACT, and then these newly nationalised "citizens" will sponsor their illegal parents and get them green cards. Then they'll send for more relatives from South Of The Border, and then we'll be even more screwed. That's more people looking for jobs. More kids in our schools. More people draining our social programs. Comrades, we simply can't afford this any longer. If our politicians can't accept this, then they must be removed from office.
This country started out as a country for the people. Now it's become a country AGAINST it's people. IT'S TIME TO TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK! SO LET'S PUT DOWN THE BEER, TURN OFF THE TV, GET OFF OUR ASSES AND START DOING SOMETHING! What better place to start than the ANP? HAIL VICTORY!