It’s Time for the DREAM Act Movement to Work for CIR
Great news today for thousands of students and advocates of the DREAM Act. Late this morning, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 131, the second component of a two-part bill that will make financial aid available to students who otherwise wouldn’t qualify due to their residency status.
Of the various components in previously proposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) bills, the DREAM Act has garnered the most popular support nationwide. Credit goes to organizers and advocates for raising awareness for the cause of college students, but it brings up an important question: What about the others?
The DREAM Act movement proposes preferential status for college students, leaving the vast majority of young people to fend for themselves. Aside from elitist, this approach emboldens reactionaries and fractures the efforts of organizations working toward CIR.
In the past, national organizers of the DREAM Act have framed their struggle as not being “just about ‘those Mexicans.’” Beyond troublesome.
Also troublesome is the ultra-patriotic assimilationist message amongst most involved in the DREAM Act movement. Although, the state versions do not require military service, the federal version has been explicitly written to target Mexican American youth from low-income communities.
From Mexico City to Soweto, students have led the cause of freedom and justice for the community, not themselves. It is time the DREAM Act movement, especially Mexicans, reassess their strategy and direct their efforts at serving the greater good.
It is time to work for CIR.
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