Thursday, July 26, 2007
Pentagon's Push for DREAM Act Heats Up
In recent months, several Chicano organizations have spoken out against the military component of the DREAM Act:
Association of Raza Educators
Says NO the the Dream Act
In the past month, numerous non-profit organizations have been using university student “activists” to hold rallies and demonstrations in support of the National DREAM Act. The DREAM Act would allow SOME undocumented students to attain permanent resident status if they meet one of the following criteria:
· A degree from a two- or four-year institution of higher education, OR
· Good standing for at least two years at an institution of higher education while working toward a bachelor's degree or higher, OR
· SERVICE IN THE U.S. IMPERIALIST ARMED FORCES for at least TWO YEARS.
Since most of these student “activists” meet these requirements, they hope to gain their own legal status by getting this bill passed. Many of the proponents of this bill also emphasize the educational components of this bill, but are purposely ignoring the last and most important criteria: Military Service.
According to research on the education pipeline for Raza students, the vast majority will be forced to legalize by joining the US Armed Forces. We hope that these “activist” and non-profit organizations look past their self-interest and think carefully about the adverse effects the DREAM Act will have on the ENTIRE undocumented community and on poor peoples around the world.
Since Proposition 187 was introduced in the 1990’s, the Association of Raza Educators (A.R.E.) has organized and fought for the democratic and human rights of our Gente both inside and outside of the classroom. Here in Los Angeles, A.R.E. has been at the forefront of organizing students and community members to march and fight against racist legislation like H.R. 4437. In the past year, A.R.E. has also brought awareness to the injustice faced by undocumented students and have been proactive in our efforts to assist these students. This year alone we raised over $10,000.00 and awarded it in scholarships specifically for undocumented students.
A.R.E. supports the unconditional and full legalization for ALL our Gente; however, we do NOT support the DREAM ACT because it will do irreparable harm to our community by causing a de facto military draft for our undocumented youth.
ARE will not sell-out ALL Raza youth so that a FEW of us can get “legalized” and go to college!
The State badly miseducates our youth and the majority of our youth either gets pushed out of school or are ill prepared to go to college. According to National Stats for every Raza student who will attend a two or four year college, TWENTY will not. Under the Dream Act, this will leave the militarily as the only viable option for the majority of undocumented Raza youth.
We do not accept the stipulation of military service as a requirement for citizenship. Poor people of color (mostly Africans and Mexicans/Indigenous People) have built this county and have suffered years of discrimination and injustice, but for supporters of this bill, that is not enough they still wish to push us into their military to fight their wars. By failing to address the route of legalization through militarization, these “activist” groups are consciously and willfully supporting a bill that would force the majority of Raza youth to fight in Iraq and in future imperialist wars. As progressive Raza Educators, we firmly stand against the DREAM ACT for this reason.
A.R.E. has constantly stood against the militarization of our schools and youth for the purposes of fighting unjust imperialist wars of aggression against other poor people of color. There have been over 3,500 U.S. soldiers dead since the beginning of the war in Iraq, and tens of thousands injured.
With the passage of this bill, the U.S. will fill its ranks with immigrant and migrant soldiers, thereby relieving it’s own sons and daughters of danger while they put ours in harms way.
Moreover, the U.S. has already placed 6,000 U.S. Troops at the US/Mexican border. Will our Raza youth become US mercenary soldiers who will be forced to point the gun at their own family members when they patrol the border? Will we support the DREAM ACT that will force our youth to join the same imperialist military that invaded Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama and countless other Latin American Countries?
A.R.E. asks all our Gente to please look closely at the DREAM ACT and reconsider your support for a bill that will cause a de facto military draft for our youth.
· Yes to Full Legalization for all our Gente!
· Yes to Education for all of our Youth!
· No to the National Dream Act!
· No to the Militarization of our Youth!
Association of Raza Educators- LA