Immigration policy is complicated, but passage of the DREAM Act should have been easy. Supporters must continue to press their cause.
Los Angeles Times: Bernard Pastor of Ohio, brought to this country at age 3, is fighting an order of deportation to Guatemala. Hector Lopez of Oregon is in detention after being deported to Mexico and trying to return to his family in the United States, his home since the age of 6 weeks. What Pastor and Lopez have in common is that they grew up pledging allegiance to the United States, have never lived anywhere else and for all intents and purposes are American. They and thousands like them would have been assisted by the DREAM Act, which offered a conditional pathway to citizenship to young illegal immigrants who attend college or serve in the military. Unfortunately — worse than that, immorally and cruelly — the Senate failed to pass the bill. Although polls showed that the public supported it, and the Congressional Budget Office calculated that its passage would add $2 billion in new tax revenue annually, and a majority of senators were ready to vote "aye," as had their colleagues in the House, a Republican minority and a handful of Democrats blocked the bill from coming to a vote. This is a sad moment for young people like Pastor and Lopez, who were hoping for a reprieve. To secure a future in the United States, undocumented students outed themselves online, in news stories, on their college campuses. University graduates told of working as waitresses and dishwashers even though they hold advanced degrees. They demonstrated at senators' offices and fasted in the tradition of Cesar Chavez. Saturday morning, they cried in the corridors of Congress.