Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March 6: Support Daniela? Support the DREAM Act

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Darn right Daniela Pelaez should be able to stay in the United States, finish her education and do the work she wants.

So should every other young person in her shoes.

Daniela, this year's valedictorian at North Miami Senior High School, faces deportation to Colombia, from where she came at age 4, because she does not have proper papers. She dreams of going to medical school and becoming a heart surgeon.

Many are supporting her cause - including her classmates, teachers, Miami-Dade County School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and numerous local politicians.

Among those politicians are needle-threaders such as U.S. Rep. David Rivera and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, both of Miami. They support Daniela, but won't support the DREAM Act, which would let thousands like Daniela stay in this country.

Like Daniela, those thousands of others whose parents brought them from the countries where they were born have no recollection of those countries, and no memories of anything other than growing up as Americans. They are certainly not to blame for their immigration status.

In fact, also like Daniela, most of those young adults are trying to make productive lives for themselves in this country. They should have that right in every way.

Amnesty for immigrants of long standing has been supported across party lines by figures ranging from former President George W. Bush to current President Barack Obama.

Everyone who supports Daniela Pelaez should also support the DREAM Act. Rivera and Rubio, the children of immigrants, should top that list.

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