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Bloggings: How much longer can Obama and the Democrats get away with taking immigrants for granted? by Roger Algase

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Accotding to a June 16 article in the Huffington Post "DREAM Act Supporters: Democrats Shouldn't Count On US In 2012" (see 06/16 ID), DREAM Act advocates are getting fed up with the lukewarm support  they have been getting from the Democratic party. In December, 2010, five "centrist" Democrats joined Senate Republicans to vote against cutting off debate on the DREAM Act bill. Another Democratic Senator did not vote. The bill failed to survive a Republican filibuster by exactly five votes. (Three Republicans had the courage to defy their own party and voted with the majority of Democrats to end the filibuster).


The White House, which did nothing to put pressure on the Democrats who refused to support the DREAM Act, is now reportedly deporting student activists who would have been eligible for relief under the DREAM Act if it had passed.  The DREAM Act, of course, is just one of many examples of President Obama's betrayal of the immigrants whom he had promised as a candidate to protect against being made scapegoats. Instead of the DREAM Act, Obama and his enforcement-only obsessed DHS officials have given immigrants and their supporters a series of nightmares - "Secure Communities", E-Verify and INA Section 287(g) agreements with local officials.


This raises the question why immigrants and their advocates are only now, six months after the DREAM Act fiasco, starting to make noises about the betrayal by the Obama administration. Cowed by the thought of a Republican takeover, which might effectively end all further immigration and lead to the roundup, internment and expulsion of the 12 million mainly Latinos and Asians who are currently estimated to be in the US without authorization (while America's jails fill up with employers and other US citizens who have violated draconian compliance regulations), immigrants and their advocates have been willing for far too long to give Obama a pass on the theory that he is the lesser of two evils.


What is needed is a focused pro-immigrant movement, similar to the Tea party movement on the other side, within the Democratic party - or outside of it. Just as the Tea Party has put its own ideological "purity" ahead of winning elections, and as a result has become a major political power in the service of Fox News, the Koch brothers and its other well heeled corporate backers, immigrants and their supporters need to make their voices heard, even if it means bringing down a president who cannot possibly DREAM of being reelected without the suport of Latino and other minority voters.


When immigration supporters finally show that they are serious, then we will start to hear a great deal less from this administration about monstrosities like "Secure Communities", E-Verify and 287(g), and a great deal more about immigrant rights.

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  1. Don Miller's Avatar
    So, if I understand correctly, what you are advocating is that a group of foreigners, non-US citizens, illegally present in the country and generally unwanted by most Americans, organize themselves into a sort of quasi-political party and conduct demonstrations, disturbances, etc. throughout the US in order to bully/threaten US officials. Can you think of any country where this sort of thing would be tolerated? Mexico, for example, where it is illegal for any non-Mexican to participate in any political activity? And where it is illegal to fly any foreign flag in public other than at an embassy or consulate?
    I am certain that mass "Tea Party" type demonstrations by hordes of foreigners flying their national flags, with placards and signs written in their languages, would really swing American public opinion in their favor. Bring it on!
  2. Roger Algase's Avatar
    You raise an interesting point, Don. Many American nativists get all upset when they see anyone waving a foreign flag, even when the person waving it is an American citizen celebrating his or her immigrant heritage. However, the reaction to seeing someone waive a foreign flag often varies with the skin color of the ? majority of the population in the country which the flag in question belongs to.


    If you want to see people waving foreign flags to your hearts content, Don, why dont you drop by here in New York on St. Patricks day, or for the annual Italian festival, Octoberfest, or Israel Independence Day parades? Funny, but I never seem to see anything on Fox news or read any right wing columnists complaining about all those foreign flags. Come to think of it, I havent seen any complaints about those flags from you, either.



    But let one person, even an American citizen whose family may have been in this country for more than a century (as my family has, although I do not happen to be of Mexican ancestry myself), waive a Mexican, other Latin American, or Asian flag, and you would think that America will come to an end tomorrow. Why?
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