Latinos are both disappointed and frustrated by the failure of the DREAM Act in Congress. The main problem was not that Republicans wanted to derail it– everyone knew that – but that Democrats didn’t have their act together, and some joined the Republicans and voted against it. With those five Democrat votes against, the DREAM Act fell five votes short of passing. If those five Democrat votes would’ve been pro-DREAM, the bill would have reached the Senate floor, and could have passed by a simple majority.
Unfortunately, this shows the reality of the Democratic Party. It is disjointed, and unable to organize in order to vote as one. This leaves Latinos out in the cold, and with no clear option as to which political party to turn to. Maybe now is the time for an independent candidate to come forward for 2012, uniting the Latino vote and taking it away from both parties.
It feels even worse that the DREAM Act failure comes on the heels of the passing of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy reversal, which allows for gays in the military to be as openly gay as they may. The country is focusing in celebrating this great success, of course; however, very little has been said in the media about the irrational vote on the DREAM Act.
Why irrational? Because who can possibly think that for youth – who didn’t come to this country willfully, but were brought at a young age by their parents – to become well-educated adults, paying their taxes, and their Social Security, and spending on consumer products, is not something that our country will benefit from? We’re talking about 1.2 million immigrant youth in this group, according experts. Republicans, frankly, are blindly obsessed with fighting anything that could look like amnesty. Whether it’s beneficial or not, they don’t care.
As upsetting as the failure of the DREAM Act is, it is not surprising to those who have been paying attention to the writing on the wall. When the Democrats had the majority in both houses, the Democratic leadership wasn’t able to cash in on that political power. Now things have changed, the fight for the presidential race in 2012 is on, and Republicans will for sure obstruct anything that Obama wants to do.
Although Republicans say that they are interested in passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill, it is not expected that they will act on it until “our borders are secured,” as they have expressed. But, curiously enough, they keep opposing the bills that fund border security. It seems that the “status quo” is working fine for them. In the meantime, we can expect more abuse of power, and inhumane treatment for those who are undocumented.