Haven't given out a Wet Burrito Award in awhile, but then again, haven't been reading Ruben Navarette lately. But a recent event this week convinces me the dubious honor is long overdue. And it's a tie. Some backstory...
The DREAM Act is a bi-partisan congressional bill that if passed would provide a path to citizenship for children of illegal immigrants. According to a Dallas Morning News article "the bill would have granted conditional legal status to illegal immigrants younger than 30 who completed two years of higher education or served in the military. To be considered for legal status, they would have needed to have lived in the U.S. for five years and have entered before age 16. After completing the educational or military requirement, they could have applied for citizenship. The legislation would have affected more than 1 million young people."
So basically, 1) if your parents brought you to this country without papers, through no choice of your own, you learned the language, got grades good enough to make it into college, and you survived two years of Beowulf and proximity to drunken frat boys; or 2) you volunteered to get your ass shot off defending a country that was doing everything in its power to deport your parents, then said generous country would CONSIDER making you a citizen. Emphasis on consider.
Not the best deal but in these rhetorically-inflamed times where as we speak workers are building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, about the best deal you're gonna get.
In drumming up support for this week's vote on the DREAM measure, Senator Dick Durban (D-Il) organized a briefing to educate staffers on the bill. Featured speakers were three experts who could best speak with authority on the bill's benefits: three successful college students, all children of illegal immigrants. So was it a substantial and serious exchange of public policy and personal impact? Hardly. Enter Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo, last-tier Republican presidential candidate, the guy who has called for the bombing of Mecca, and who's central issue of his failed campaign is a hard-line anti-immigrant position. I'll let Think Progress finish the story...
Democrats were planning to hold a press conference today featuring three college students whose parents came to the United States illegally in order to promote the DREAM Act. But the event was postponed after anti-immigrant Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) called on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency to arrest the three students:
“I call on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency to detain any illegal aliens at this press conference,” said Tancredo, who claims to have alerted federal authorities about the well publicized press confrence. “Just because these illegal aliens are being used for political gain doesn’t mean they get immunity from the law. If we can’t enforce our laws inside the building where American laws are made, where can we enforce them?”
Turns out the three students were in fact legal. According to USA Today, "all three students have legal status. Manuel Bartsch, a college freshman from Ohio, and Marie Gonzalez, a college junior from Missouri, both had deportation orders postponed because of the intervention of members of Congress. Tam Tran, a recent UCLA graduate, had her deportation stayed because Germany, the country where she was born after her parents fled Vietnam, refused to accept the family back."
Bear in mind these three college students were NOT the same three students from Dallas who also journeyed up to Congress to practice democracy, observe the noble legislative process, and lobby for the bill's passage. Again, from the Dallas Morning News..
Three Dallas students who traveled to Washington on Wednesday had high hopes for the bill's passage. All of them entered the U.S. before they were 11, brought by Mexican parents seeking work, they said.
It was their first trip to Washington and they were dressed for important meetings with senators. A meeting with [Texas Senator Kay Bailey] Hutchison's staff lasted about a half-hour. But Mr. Cornyn [the other Texas Senator] would not allow them into his office because they were not legal residents.
Smarting from that rejection, one of the students, an 18-year-old woman, said she would have told Mr. Cornyn: "Put yourself in our shoes. Try to imagine your life as an immigrant."
Yeah, like empathy for the less fortunate is a trait these Republicans posses in abundance. The bill, of course, failed. Winners, then, of this week's Wet Burrito Award...a tie: Representative Tom Tancredo and Texas Senator John Cornyn. Assholes. Go here to see video of Sen Dubin call out Tancredo and his ilk for their "bigotry and hatred."
Yeah, like empathy for the less fortunate is a trait these Republicans posses in abundance. The bill, of course, failed.
Winners, then, of this week's Wet Burrito Award...a tie: Representative Tom Tancredo and Texas Senator John Cornyn. Assholes. Go here to see video of Sen Dubin call out Tancredo and his ilk for their "bigotry and hatred."