The Saga of Immigrant Youth — the gap between feeling American and becoming American on paper
Next month, the country’s educational community celebrates the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Plyler vs. Doe. In Plyer vs. Doe, the high court ruled in June 1982 that it was against the law to prohibit primary and secondary education to an undocumented student. Although the decision has stood for nearly 30 years, attaining higher education for undocumented high school graduates has been, for most, a long, distant dream — a nightmare, even.
Too often, politics has gotten in the way of common-sense policy. In 2001, a bi-partisan effort led by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) resulted in the introduction of the Development Relief for Alien Minors Act, or the DREAM Act.
This legislation, which many had hopes of passing, came to a screeching halt after the September 11th attacks. Since then, officials like Kris Kobach (the Kansas Secretary of State, who’s a key architect of Arizona’s S.B. 1070 immigration bill) have used fear tactics to fuel anti-immigrant sentiment.
A climate of hate, under the pretense that immigrants are criminals, have defined the immigration narrative, especially within the extreme wing of the Republican Party. When the DREAM Act came up for a vote in 2010, it was a Republican filibuster and five Democrats that altogether deferred the dreams of thousands of immigrant youth.
Read the full story at Latina Lista