Friday, December 10, 2010

Agueda's Thoughts on the Dream Act

When listening to the DREAM Act debate on C-SPAN I could not help but feel that those opposed to the bill were simply voicing their fear; fear of the unknown; fear of those they do not know, cannot identify with or do not understand.

Opponents of the bill victimize American citizens, claiming American Citizens will suffer negative effects from the passage of the DREAM Act. Also, opponents claim that such a bill will lead to chain migration and will increase “illegal” immigration. Finally, one representative called the bill an “affirmative action amnesty nightmare.”

In an effort to not fall into the role of the “oppressor”, those of us who are passionate about or are effected by the DREAM Act must try to understand where the opinions and ideas of the opponents come from. The media and government have done such a great job of instilling fear among the masses. How can we not expect people to oppose the DREAM Act when we constantly hear talks about how immigrants are taking American jobs, exploiting social services, overcrowding schools, etc.? With all those things being said, is it really a surprise that so many people suffer from xenophobia (the fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners)? The reality is that it is NOT our responsibility to change those opinions because:

a. People are entitled to their own beliefs

b. Individual realities shape perception

c. They give us more reasons to push for change

So, when a representative from Texas says that we must only be compassionate towards American citizens we must remind them that citizens or not, every person in this country deserves compassion. On top of that, we must remind ourselves that, oppressing the oppressor will not get us anywhere and we must remain committed to the struggle of equity and social justice.

Let’s hope the Senate makes the right choice and passes the DREAM Act today! Let’s keep making those calls!!!

“It is absolutely essential that the oppressed participate in the revolutionary process with an increasingly critical awareness of their role as subjects of the transformation.” – Paulo Freire


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