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The Advantage of School Uniforms

  • Date Submitted: 11/29/2010 10:10 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 54.2 
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Dreaming of Reform

Published: November 29, 2010

The Dream Act, the immigration bill that opens a path to legalization for undocumented young people who go to college or serve in the military, has a shot at passing the lame-duck Congress. Not a clear or sure shot, given the danger of Republican filibustering and Democratic wobbliness, but a shot.

Democratic leaders of the House and Senate have at least promised to squeeze it onto the floor in the twilight of Democratic control of the House.

If the Dream Act passes, credit must go to those who have fought for it most strenuously, at greater personal risk and inconvenience than anyone else: the young people whose futures it will decide. Thousands of students, calling themselves “undocumented and unafraid,” have led an admirable campaign of advocacy under the threat of arrest and deportation.

They have marched hundreds of miles, fasted for days, staged sit-ins and held bittersweet mock graduations. In letters and phone calls, on Twitter and Facebook, the Dream activists have told their stories to whoever will listen, firmly confronting those who won’t.

Gaby Pacheco once hugged Joe Arpaio, a sheriff in Arizona, momentarily disarming his anti-immigrant virulence. Recently, she and five others were in the office of Senator John McCain, a former Dream Act co-sponsor, urging him to summon the courage he now disowns. She reminded him of his promise in 2007 to fight for the bill. He begged off. She persisted: What about your promise? What about my family?

The Dream Act will not fix immigration from the border to the workplace to the future flow of Americans-in-waiting. It’s just a down payment on future reform.

But Republicans won back the House in the recent election, so immigration hard-liners are coming. The Obama administration has the deportation machinery expelling 400,000 people a year. Victorious Republicans have vowed to tear the country apart until they find and expel the last of...


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