Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dec. 21: DREAMS Denied (Again)

By Sylvia Gurinsky

One of the great head-scratchers of the 111th Congress will be how a United States Senate that repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" managed to vote down the DREAM Act.

Among the "No" votes was Sen. George LeMieux of Florida, who is making noises about challenging his fellow Florida senator, Bill Nelson, who voted Yes, in 2012.

The legislation was bipartisan and meant to help the young children and teenagers in this country who are classified as illegal immigrants. Their parents brought them here. Those children have done nothing wrong; they've grown up here, gone to school here and are ready to give back to the United States. This is the only country they know.

But in 2010, hatred and meanness seems to be the only sentiment many senators know; that's certainly true for those who voted against providing assistance for these young people. It will only get worse as Congress turns over in two weeks.

Immigrant advocates are already putting bull's-eyes on senators who voted No who are up for election in 2012. More voices are needed, though. One should come from the White House, where President Barack Obama certainly has the right to issue executive orders to help youths who would have been assisted by the DREAM act.

Come on, Mr. President. Congress will have little compassion the next two years. This country and its children need you to show more of yours.

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