Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DREAM On

Cody Buzzell of Esquire notes that along with the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the DREAM Act is up for a vote in the Senate.

Last week Harry Reid announced that he will insert the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act into a defense authorization bill, granting permanent residency to young undocumented immigrants who honorably serve in the armed forces for two years. This infuriated Republicans, including John McCain, who called it “onerous” and “a pure political act” despite co-sponsoring the same bill in 2005, 2006, and 2007. (Colin Powell, still technically a Republican, approves of the proposal.)

McCain has obvious political considerations — he’s up for reelection in a state hostile to immigration — but this flip-flop seems especially cynical. It blows my mind that he would threaten to block this reform.

The reason is pretty simple, actually. The Republicans want us to think that all immigrants are scary brown people who smuggle drugs, behead people, and want to build mosques on top of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The idea that undocumented young men and women who want to serve their adopted country might find an easier path to citizenship goes against their pre-determined talking points.

HT to Anne Laurie.