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Chris Salcedo

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December 21, 2010 - 12:00 am
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Despite the concerted effort to paint all Republicans as anti-brown, I think it’s fair to say, if one were being honest, that most Americans agree with the premise of the DREAM Act. What American, regardless of skin color, believes in holding children responsible for the sins of their parents?  But the leftists in America, along with their willing accomplices in the mainstream press, have managed to focus the entire country on the wrong problem. Think about it. The whole reason the DREAM Act is necessary is because over the last four or so decades American politicians have not earned their taxpayer funded salaries when it comes to border enforcement. Now, our nation is starting to deal with the sticky and often heart-wrenching consequences of their dereliction of duty. Does anyone believe for one moment that a nation of laws can ignore those laws for so long without consequence? So we’re now seeing the problems that we conservatives warned would come as a result.  And here come the liberals with “Band-Aid” laws to treat the symptoms, all the while ignoring the disease.  The DREAM Act is one such law.

Aside from being a flawed bill, it does nothing to address the reason why the act was needed in the first place.  Americans are naturally suspect, not of the Hispanics affected by the law, but by the fact that more DREAM Acts will be necessary because the root cause, illegal immigration, has not been dealt with.  Patriotic Hispanics, because liberal Hispanics couldn’t care less about the rule of law, missed an opportunity in this DREAM Act debate. Latino Patriots could have put the focus where it belonged: on illegal immigration.  And they were uniquely qualified to turn up the heat on lawmakers and make them earn a living for a change by passing strong reform. Instead, many were duped by the MSM and the liberals into debating the DREAM Act, an act that, at the end of the day, solves nothing.

Let me say for the record that even though it’s a disgrace that the DREAM Act is even needed, the concept of the DREAM Act is good. The most recent version, and I say recent because there are at least eight versions I know of, comes very close to being a good bill but falls short in key areas.  To qualify for the DREAM Act, under the version that failed in the Senate, an illegal would have to have a  high school diploma or GED.  To attain permanent residence, the individual would have to have two years of service in the military or two years of college.  On the military service part … that’s a no-brainer.  If you’re willing to wear our uniform and die for America, you’ve proven your worth in my mind. But this GED requirement is laughable.  The liberals who crafted this bill felt that a pathway to legal residence and perhaps citizenship shouldn’t require anything more than a GED.  That’s completely unacceptable. In truth, I wouldn’t be happy with just eliminating GED as a qualifier.  I’m going to go with 2 years in college – a junior or community college because I know money can be tight in Obama’s economy, with an eye toward a four-year degree.  Or if one goes the military route, they must execute the GI Bill provision in their service contract to ensure college will be in the individual’s future. I have full confidence in the Latino community, both legal and illegal, to live up to that challenge. Contrary to liberals’ notions of us, we are capable.  See, now they’ve got me doing it!  Focused on a bill that should have never been needed to begin with. It’s almost as if the lawmakers create problems so they can write laws to “fix” the resulting and inevitable fall-out.  It’s job security I guess.

We must not forget the politics of all this. Harry Reid, the unfortunate Senate majority leader, pushed the DREAM Act this last time around.  He’s an unfortunate human being and it’s unfortunate he’s in his current role in our government. But I digress.  Reid did such a masterful job of putting out so many versions of the DREAM Act that Republicans had no idea which version they were voting on. Also, the little weasel wouldn’t allow any amendments to the bill.  Republicans couldn’t address their concerns, even if they had time to research the bill.  It was a set-up, pure and simple.  It was designed to make Republicans make a vote and drive a wedge between Latinos and the GOP.  One problem: the Dems have some political blowback to deal with on this issue too.  I’ve laid this out in other articles, but it’s so good it bears repeating.  The Democrats were so concerned about Hispanics that after the election of Barack Obama in 2008 and after Democrats gained huge super majorities in both houses of the Congress, their first legislative task was … a massive stimulus bill.  And because Obama, Pelosi, and Reid cared so much about Latinos, their second priority was … passing another huge entitlement program that socialized medicine in the United States.  That took over a year to pull off.  In fact, the Democrats didn’t take up the DREAM Act until just before the midterm elections in one of the most glaring examples of political pandering that I’ve ever seen.  Reid tried to attach one of the versions of the DREAM Act to a defense bill.  How ironic, huh?  The DREAM Act, a bill necessitated by not defending our border, was destined to ride a defense bill.  For those not blinded by this blatant attempt at divisive racial politics, the maneuvering was all too obvious.  Still, I saw Hispanics, most of whom consider themselves conservative, push this flawed bill.  They were all too willing to play right into Reid’s trap, all on account of race.

For those Americans out there who can’t relate to what I’m conveying here, don’t worry.  It’s not you.  You’re right not to default to race in all things.  Unfortunately, some of the staunchest conservative Latinos I know turn to jelly when it comes to Hispanic issues.  They seem to throw their principles right out the window.  Even though some are second or third generation Latino, and 100% legal, they can’t help but feel kinship to those folks back in their ancestral countries of origin.  That’s not me.  I have zero love or affinity for the backwater, hell-hole of a country where my father’s ancestors came from.  There’s a reason why they fled after all.  Mexico pales in comparison to my country. I’ve relayed a story told to me in the last election cycle.  A Hispanic woman was asked why she didn’t vote for Republicans.  She said that Republicans wanted to send “undocumented” people back to their home countries.  She couldn’t support that as they were “her people.”   American Latinos need to wake up to the sobering fact that those Cubans, Venezuelans, Mexicans, or any other Latino illegal immigrants are nowhere near “their people.”  We are already part of an exceptional people, a breed called Americans.  We open our arms with understanding and recognize a serious revamping of our legal immigration system is long overdue.  We should take offense at any foreign national whose first act upon entering our nation is to break our laws.  Oh, let’s not forget that there are approximately 50,000 OTMs (“other than Mexicans”) crossing the southern border every year.  So a secure border isn’t really a race issue.  And don’t forget what’s being called our third war. Violent killings escalate on that border courtesy of ruthless drug cartels.  Because conservative Hispanics went all weak-kneed on the DREAM Act, they allowed America to take her eyes off the real issue, illegal immigration.  And in so doing they missed out on a real opportunity to make a difference and to do some good for America.

We have two problems when it comes to borders here in the United States: We have an immigration problem, and we have an illegal immigration problem.  They are two different problems with two very different solutions.  I often tell a story about Miguel.  Miguel works with my stepfather.  Miguel came to the United States the legal way.  He received a visa, secured work for himself, and began a ten-year process to bring his family here.  Miguel, though not skilled when he first came here, learned.  Now he has tools to help support his family.  I find it unfathomable that a country as great as ours can’t find a way to cut down that ten-year period.  It shouldn’t take that long to determine that Miguel isn’t a terrorist, can support himself and his family, and can be a contributor to the American fabric.  Again, lazy and cowardly politicians refuse to take on the challenge of reforming our legal immigration system.  Republicans hear from a small but vocal xenophobic constituency and cave.  And the Democrats get an earful from leftists who have built up a cottage industry that charges exorbitant amounts of money to uninformed illegals with the promise of a path toward citizenship.  These leftists also dabble in the political arena.  Much like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, they sell the well-being of the Latino community down the river in exchange for a seat of power or political influence.  You know the ones.  They yell the loudest when America dares propose ways to stop illegal immigration.

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