Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Eduwonk is right on about a Washington Post story about a Missouri girl originally from Costa Rica that is danger of being deported but could have been saved by the DREAM Act (the Act would overturn a 1996 provision that prohibits state universities from offering in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants, and, important especially in cases like these, would allow undocumented students that complete college to become legal residents).

It is outragous, as Eduwonk says, that the DREAM Act hasn't passed Congress despite Bush's interest in and understanding of immigration. In the days before Sept. 11, as depressed as I was about Bush's "victory," I really thought he would be able to deliver sensible immigration reform. I don't know why he hasn't supported any number of good immigration bills that have come up since 9/11 (including AgJobs, the recently introduced McCain-Kennedy bill and of course the DREAM Act) or pushed for his own pro-business guest worker program (which would be better than the status quo). It's probably a combination of the strength of the anti-immigration lobby (not all Republicans - even conservatives like Orin Hatch support the DREAM Act), Bush's unwillingness to spend political capital on anything that isn't an issue for social conservatives (besides the war) and the fact that immigrant issues just aren't being seen as pressing on a national level.

As I have said before, I think the state-by-state movement to allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition shows that pressue for change is building. Supporting immigrant kids that want to go to college should be a no-brainer, not matter what your views on undocumented immigrants are. Not that MO Senators Bond and Talent will ever get it.

For those of you in New York City with a little time on your hands now that school has ended, there is a rally in support of the DREAM Act in Thomas Paine Park this Thursday (June 30th). The park is on the corner of Worth and Lafayette (N, R, W or 6 to Canal St, or C, 4, 5, 6, J, M, Z, 2, 3 to Broadway-Nassau)

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