You have to wonder what kind of poison is coursing through Republicans’ minds right now for them to torpedo the DREAM act.
This is a hugely important issue to the fastest growing demographic in the nation, so it makes absolutely no long-term political sense for the GOP to brand themselves for years to come—if not forever—as anti-Latino.
In the short term, if they want to display their xenophobic bona fides to their base, what’s the point of doing it right after the election? Two years from now, everyone will have forgotten about the death of DREAM except the Latino community.
On the moral side, the idea of leaving young people, whose legal status is in limbo through no fault of their own, to twist in the wind is unjustifiable. Calling DREAM “amnesty” is disingenuous; the idea was to have illegal aliens earn their citizenship, and that’s exactly what the act would have provided for.
Many of the people who would be affected by this legislation are as American as native-born citizens. They speak English with no accent, and American culture is all they have ever known. In some cases, they don’t even speak the language of their parents. If allowed to assimilate legally, they would likely become wealth-producers, not consumers, particularly if they were to earn college degrees.
And what about the military service angle? On the same weekend that gays were finally allowed to serve openly, why kick another willing group of enlistees right in the teeth, when a nation fighting two wars needs them the most?
Is the need to fan the flames of prejudice in the electorate really that pressing? Wouldn’t it make more sense for Republicans to come up with a coherent, credible, equitable program designed to rid this country of its many problems? Now that would attract some votes.