Archives for June 2012

History of the DREAM Act in two minutes

The Dream Act has been circulating in Congress for over a decade. It began on April 25, 2001 by Representative Luis Gutiérrez and was called the “Immigrant Children’s Educational Advancement and Dropout Prevention Act of 2001. It was a compromise to all the comprehensive immigration reform bills that failed to get through Congress in the decade and a half since Reagan’s landmark immigration reform bill in 1986. What President Reagan was able to pass through Congress was itself a small part of the comprehensive immigration reforms being batted around Congress during the previous two decades.

We have a long history in ignoring legislation for one of our largest economic engines.

In 2008, after failing several times to get the backing of Congress, Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison, announced she would work with the authors of the DREAM Act to add some language that would make it more palatable for Republicans to vote for.

This DREAM Act (v2.0) was then reintroduced to Congress, trimmed again by Republican lawmakers, making it more restrictive for who is eligible and excluding some of the benefits they would receive. The DREAM Act v2.0 still failed to pass a vote in 2009, even with a Republican co-author.

Back to the drawing board it went and Republicans got to water it down some more and make it even more exclusive by adding background checks, biometric data, specifying specific crimes that would make some candidates ineligible, and more. Surely this Dream Act (v3.0) would sail through Congress.

Wrong again. The Republicans, who were in the minority used filibusters twice, to overcome the majority Democratic vote. This means that no matter if the Republicans were the majority or the minority, they could effectively control the Senate.

The backers of the DREAM Act refused to let it die, and as the bill went through its most recent changes in 2011, it had been stripped of many of the benefits that had been designed to encourage the best and brightest of our undocumented citizens to stay and participate in making this country better and safer.

We all know this latest version of the DREAM Act (v 4.0) is still too generous for the Republicans to sign off on. It appears Conservative Republicans are proving to be the greatest obstacle to getting any bill through Congress that will legalize our currently undocumented citizens, and have been for half a century.

It should be noted that in 1798 the Republican party was among the first class of people to be purposely excluded in our first immigration laws. Apparently politics has a very short memory. The Republicans are trying to put the blame on President Obama for not having passed the DREAM Act when the Democrats were in the majority of the Senate. They would like you to forget all about their filibusters. It appears they already have.

The Republicans vs the DREAM Act

The Republicans have been trying to defeat The DREAM Act since it first started circulating Congress in 2001. This bill was created as a compromise to all the comprehensive immigration reform bills that failed to get through congress in the decades after President Reagan’s landmark immigration reform bill in 1986. In 2008, after failing to get the backing of Congress several times, a Republican, Kay Bailey Hutchison, announced she would work with the authors of the DREAM Act to add some language that would make it more palatable for the GOP to buy-off on.


This DREAM  Act 2.0 was then re-introduced to congress. You would think this version would have been a slam dunk, as Republicans got to put their fingerprints all over it by making it more restrictive on who is eligible and excluding some of the benefits it bestowed upon those who qualified, but even after being able to amend the Dream Act and make it more restrictive, that still wasn’t good enough. The DREAM Act v2.0 failed to pass a vote in 2009.


Back to the drawing board and Republicans got to water it down some more and make it even more exclusive by adding background checks, biometric data, specifying specific crimes that would make some candidates ineligible, and more. Surely this DREAM Act would sail through Congress.


Wrong again. Just as the DREAM Act went through its last changes in 2011 and had been stripped of many of it’s benefits that had been designed to encourage the best and brightest of our undocumented citizens to stay and participate in making this country better and safer, the Republicans were proving to be an increasingly negative obstacle.Their best effort for trying to evade the issue has been ” self deportation.”


Stopping President Obama from accomplishing anything in his first term appears to have become their primary objective. Most of the initiatives the President put forward have been stalled by the Republicans. The only DREAM Act the Republicans seem to have been working on was a one term Democratic President.


Now that the Republicans have watered down the DREAM Act into something more likely to be called a SHORT NAP Act, they continue to vote it down and deny the Democrats (and Americans) another victory. And guess what? Along comes a Republican with a NEW idea!


He hasn’t said what it is, but his new DAYDREAM Act will surely have what it takes to get Republican support in Congress. This time it will have one thing that the other three versions didn’t: a Republican author. (Those blasted Democrats are always getting in the way.)


But what about history repeating itself you may ask? I have been wondering too. I don’t think this version of the DAYDREAM Act will pass either. Just think of all the years of effort and compromise the Democrats– and some Republicans went though in order to appease the stalwart ultra-conservative Republicans. Do you think the Democrats will vote for this version whenever it gets revealed?


Me neither, and I also think that’s just what the Republicans want. This way they will have an excuse to blame the Democrats for this stalemate.


The DREAM Act as it stands right now has been crafted by both Democrats and Republicans. If that won’t help it pass through Congress, I don’t think anything will.


Some Republicans liken the latest, most stripped down version of the DREAM Act as “back door amnesty.” I urge you to read the article below on the DREAM Act and what it really says about the bill, in it’s latest version. How could any sane person see this as a gift that will be used against us by masses of undeserving people? It is so restrictive and sets the bar so high for those to qualify, and STILL doesn’t guarantee anyone citizenship –just the opportunity to apply for it– AND only the best of the best will qualify.  Smart, ambitious, strong, sacrificing. Who wouldn’t want these fine young people to be a part of their nation?


Yet the DREAM Act is still is not good enough for our Republican Ultra-conservative Congressmen, who have forgotten they work for us. Somewhere along the way, these elected officials began to fill themselves with themselves and I don’t think there’s anything other than themselves they are capable of thinking about. If you were to ask Congress what was the best solution to our immigration woes for the good of the country, do you think you would get a truthful reply? I don’t think they’ve even thought about it in that context.


After you read the article below, I urge you to let Congress know how you feel. I left a link to their contact info too. And let’s not forget about the House of Representatives.


Any logical person would come to the conclusion that if they can’t pass a law that has been eleven years in the making with help from both Republicans and Democrats, then they are incompetent of doing so. What happens to you or I when our bosses think we can no longer do our jobs? Yep, we get fired.


Congress, you are on notice.


Give something for the President to sign or you will not be invited back, and the people who will be filling your current positions will know that the same fate will apply to them, but instead of having eleven years to get something done, they will have just one term, or the rest of their current term to get the job done. We need people in our government who can play nicely with each other and help solve our nations problems. Jokers, posers and frauds need not apply.


Mike J Quinn is an American citizen with a Multi-national family and has managed restaurants for over 25 years. Currently he is working to unify his family in the United States in an increasingly difficult and hostile environment. He is also the Author of “The Dishwasher’s Son” an upcoming novel about an American teenager and local Arizona Minuteman volunteer who gets accidentally deported along with his co-workers and must sneak back into his own country using the same methods he defends against with his Minuteman unit. Along the way he must learn to deal with the Mexican heritage he has denied his whole life.

In the Nationwide Immigration argument, Where is Amnesty International?


Posted 11/21/11


A few weeks ago I joined Amnesty international in order to connect with the part of their organization that was dealing with the immigration issue in the United States. I didn’t find much. I had to really search their website to find even an article on the subject. I guess the treatment of illegal immigrants in the United States doesn’t quite rank up there with the personal freedom abuses in other countries.


But why is that? Aren’t the numbers good enough? The entire hispanic population of the states with the harshest laws, Gerogia; Alabama; Arizona; South Carolina; and Florida is greater than some other nation’s entire populationthat prominently display the support of Amnesty International. And the Show me your papers or get arrested laws they have recently pushed forward not only affects the hispanic population in their respective states, both legal and not, but as we’ve recently seen with the arrest of the Mercedez Benz executive, the harrassment affects anyone pulled over for any reason


Maybe it’s not enough of a social injustice cause? We have politicians getting removed from office for sponsoring bills that invade the freedoms of the people in our country, and others apologizing for their mistake of voting for it so they don’t get removed as well. We have many people referring to the infamous Jim Crow laws when talking about the abuses of a minority in this country. And once again the 16th Street Baptist Church, a famous civil rights symbol from the 1960’s is making the news as politicians meet there to discuss Alabama’s new immigration law. I think that makes a civil rights statement that pretty much everybody understands.


Many other organizations, both large and small have lent their voices to the cause of how immigrants are being treated in this country as well. The ACLU along with a coalition of HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS is challenging South Carolina’s immigration law and the National Immigration Law Center has produced a 30 page report accusing government officials of pressuring illegal immigrants to accept quick deportation by threatening long detention if they stayed to fight their case.


So I would just like to know what it takes for Amnesty International to put some muscle behind this issue?

We still need a DREAM Act

The DREAM Act has not been magically approved by President Obama. He does not have the power to create laws all by himself, no matter what the hyper-conservative pundits keep trying to say. Unfortunately we have a small portion of our population who do not want the US to change from a white ruled country, and they are doing everything they can to stir up as much fear as possible to mobilize the uninformed to do their bidding.

I can’t believe the enraged articles I have read about the supposed passing of the DREAM Act. These small groups must speak very loudly to be heard, and you can read all about how small their groups really are.

Doing a search on DREAM Act- news, returns 112,000 results. scanning the first page I see 23 articles on the DREAM Act. Reading them all I noted there were:
15 unbiased news articles,
5 pro DREAM Act articles,
and exactly 3 anti-immigration rants.

I believe in freedom of speech, and I believe that very few countries actually have it available to them. To me, working hard against anything like the DREAM Act, that is so fundamentally American, and would be economically and socially good for our country, is the most Un-American activity a citizen could possibly do, aside from terrorism.

Immigrants are not the bad guy

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg offers his views on immigrants. Coming from a state with an estimated half a million undocumented immigrants, you could bet he knows a little bit about them.

America without the DREAM Act

The DREAM Act will help us grow as a nation much faster than choking off the supply of fresh new talent into our workforce. Americans are being sold a line of baloney that says America would be better off with less immigrants. The problem with that argument is there is centuries of proof that shows the opposite. This video demonstrates that point perfectly. Click on the following link if you cannot see the CNN Video with Fareed Zakaria