We Must Pass a Clean Dream Act Now

“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community.” – Cesar Chavez

Those who we call “DREAMers” haven’t just dreamt of achieving citizenship in the U.S. and keeping their families united; some attend school, others are soldiers, community leaders and hard workers who pay their taxes. People who were promised protection under DACA are members of beloved families and do not merely fit into our communities, their lives and rich culture are intricately woven into the fabric of American society.

Families who would be ripped apart by the upending of a just path to citizenship are as much a part of the red, white and blue as Native Americans or any traveler who ever emigrated here, voluntarily or otherwise. The color red, on Old Glory, stands for hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

The GOP website states that “…the family is the bedrock of our nation,” but a family’s ability to remain here together, with the right to a life of liberty, seems to depend upon one’s nation of origin. Those at the helm in the U.S. are more committed to partisanship than partnership, even if their measures have direct catastrophic effects on the lives of over 700,000 people. The far-reaching ripple-effect will touch the lives of untold others throughout our country and worldwide.

In addition, When Arizona legislators passed more stringent immigration laws in 2007 and 2010, proponents hoped illegal workers would leave the state, causing employers to raise wages and hire native and documented workers, thereby reducing our nation’s unemployment rate.

However, because of the mass immigrant exodus, Arizona experienced a labor shortage, as native workers picked up less than 10 percent of the jobs formerly held by undocumented immigrants. The net effect on Arizona of the massive immigrant departure was a deficit of over 5.5 billion dollars.

Our congress is made up of people; people are made of flesh and bone, but more than that, we are born with soul and spirit. We are driven to achieve by passion, and we display our power with our show of compassion. We are uplifted by faith, and the truly faithful, historically, champion far more for others than for themselves.

The strongest among us, by persisting and resisting, will see today’s insistence upon divisiveness transform into tomorrow’s appreciation of diversity. “American culture” does not exist but for the influence of Native American indigenous people of this land, Africans brought here forcefully, and every weary traveler who believed Lady Liberty’s promise of being a beacon of light to all.

In the most trying times, the strength of the human spirit will prevail, not because any one man is better than another, or that man is better than woman, or that woman is better than man. The misaligned human spirit is agitated by challenge, whereas the just are made strongest by it.