Thursday, May 20, 2010

John McCain Throws Graduates Raised and Educated in America Under the Straight Talk Express Because They Are Undocumented

     John McCain, the Republican, Baptist Senator of Arizona, has done it again.  He's contradicted his younger, more principled self in his desperate bid to win reelection in the face of of Tea Party pressure, and this time, the lives of young people, who were raised and educated in the U.S.A., people as American than you and me, are at risk.

     McCain pulled his support from the DREAM Act, which would offer a path to citizenship for young adults who were brought to the U.S.A. as children by their parents, who were raised in the U.S.A, and who have graduated from high school and seek or have received a college education in the U.S.A.  These children were too young to willfully break any U.S. law, when brought over the border.   (You can see which senators voted for or against the DREAM Act last time it was up for cloture in 2007 by clicking here.  McCain, who supported the legislation at the time, was not present for the important vote.)

     In response to McCain's hypocrisy, students dressed in their commencement gowns staged a sit-in protest yesterday at McCain's Tucson office.  As a result, four were arrested.  Three admitted their illegal status and are being held in Pima county jail for immigration agents and possible deportation, under Arizona's McCain-backed papers-please law.  The arrested activists include Mohammed Alibelik-Abdollani, 24, Yahaira Carrillo, 25, and Lizbeth Faviola Mateo, 25.

     These young adults, who have lived their lives in the U.S., now face deportation to a nation of which they have few or no memories, only because they were born there, something they share in common with McCain, who was born in Panama, while his dad was stationed there.

     The students arrested are members of, which is fighting for the rights of undocumented students.  Here is the link to Dream Activist's YouTube channel, where you can hear the stories of undocumented students and learn how to support them.  

     Mohammed Alibelik-Abdollani, one of the arrested activists, is featured in an embedded video below.  His parents brought him here from Iran.  He is gay and faces deportation to Iran where homosexuals can get the death penalty.  (346 were executed in 2008.)  He's risking death to stand up for what is right, to challenge the injustices of the American Dream that have been tainted by fear and racism.

     These young adults are as American and you and me.  Watch the videos below.  As college graduates, they have a far better vocabulary than the uneducated American masses that preach hatred and fear of immigrants.

     In response to the protest and the arrests, Senator McCain's office released this statement:
     Senator McCain understands the students’ frustrations, but elections have consequences and they should focus their efforts on the President and the Democrats that control the agenda in Congress.
     "Elections have consequences"?  Obviously.  We've seen McCain flip-flop on so many issues trying to get reelected.  The consequence should be that McCain be required to legally change his name, because he isn't the John McCain that people voted into office.

     And, to blame the President and the Democrats?  Please.  The Democrats are at the mercy of the filibustering Republican minority.  They don't have the votes for cloture on anything right now, and with moderate Republicans, like McCain, hypocritically opposing legislation they once supported in a desperate wooing of the Tea Party, nothing is getting through the Senate.  But, yes, blame the Democrats, McCain.  Don't take responsibility for your own actions.  The fact is that both Democrats and Republicans have failed these young Americans, who face deportation to a foreign land that they ony know only by birth.

     The DREAM Act would allow the estimated 65,000 undocumented youth that will graduate high school in the U.S. this year to seek a college education and start the path to citizenship, rather than living in fear of being shipped off to a country and culture foreign to them.
     "The DREAM Act would fix one of the clearest examples of America's nonsensical immigration laws," said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America's Voice, an immigrant advocacy organization. "For too long, high school valedictorians and college graduates have been unable to fully live up to their potential."
     But, John McCain would rather throw them under the Straight Talk Express.

   An editorial in the New York Times challenges both Democrats and Republicans for having failed on immigration reform and failing the hundreds of thousands of youth, who despite their places of birth,  are American.  Here's a piece of the editorial:
     Who else has shown such courage in the long struggle for immigration reform? Not Mr. McCain, who ditched his principled support of rational immigration legislation to better his odds in a close re-election campaign against a far-right-wing opponent. Not President Obama, who has retreated to lip service and vagueness in his calls for reform. Not his administration. The Justice Department has stood by as a civil-rights coalition — the American Civil Liberties Union, Maldef, the N.A.A.C.P., the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and others — has swiftly sued to block the Arizona law.
     Other supposed defenders of immigrants, Democrats in Congress, have lost their voices. Senators Charles Schumer, Robert Menendez and Harry Reid, mindful of November elections and frustrated Latino voters, have unveiled a blueprint for immigration reform that parrots Republican talking points about clamping down the southern border and treating the undocumented as a swelling tide of criminals.
     Good immigration reform needs a good bill, and the administration and the president and Democratic leaders haven’t yet offered or convincingly fought for one. The fight for reform is stalled.
     Perhaps it's time we built a danged fence around the Capital building and locked our politicians in, until they learn the value of cooperation, compassion, and compromise for the benefit of all people living in our nation.