Faith in the DREAM Act Students & the DREAM Act!

The DREAM Act students are a very unique group of young individuals, who represent a source of very powerful and influential leaders.  In a sense, they represent “true Americana” and have all the characteristic qualities of what is perceived by the dominant members in our society of a “successful American” within the scope of higher education.

The one exception, of course, is their ethnic background.

Expressing Hope - May 2010

In my opinion, it is not a case of these students being undocumented, but more so of racism. Furthermore, it is my opinion that if the DREAM Act students were European undocumented immigrants, a federal government resolution would have been approved ten years ago.

As point of example, although somewhat extreme, nonetheless it is an historical fact, whereby World War II German prisoners of war who were placed in “prisons” in Texas received better treatment than our returning African-American and Mexican-American military veterans.  The German POW’s were allowed to leave the “prisons” and be served in local restaurants and other public venues, while veterans of color were barred from the same facilities.  Many of these German prisoners never returned to the “fatherland” at the end of W.W. II.

[CLICK HERE for "WWII Pvt Felix Longoria Affair"]

[CLICK HERE FOR Dedication Marker for WWII  Pvt Felix Longoria - denied burial.]

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COLLECTIVE PHOBIA

Because the DREAM Act students are viewed by the dominant policy makers as having all of the qualities of potential powerful leaders and power holders, there is a collective phobia about a ”loss of power.” Given that majority of the DREAM Act students are ethnically different and because they are viewed as not having the same cultural values and beliefs as the dominant policy makers, there is a fear of a power loss/vacuum and that the American principles and foundation will be dramatically altered; to their detriment.  However, current studies have revealed that the recent Latino arrivals, documented and undocumented, are no different than previous immigrant populations relative to the assimilation process/experience. As a matter of fact, the assimilation timeframe for Latino groups has been much quicker in terms of years when compared to European immigrants.

Expressing Faith in One's Abilities - May 2010

The uniqueness of the DREAM Act students is that they did not come to this country on their own volition.  They were brought by their parents/relatives at a very young age and via the socialization/assimilation process and the guidance of their parents became more American than native born Latino American children.  Interestingly enough, many were under the impression they were born in the United States and did not realize otherwise until they were getting ready to graduate from high school and were preparing for the post-secondary transition.

Expressing an American Ideal - May 2010

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Another aspect which warrants attention is what I call

“bureaucratic prostitution.”

As DREAM Act students attended the K-12 system, schools received ADA (Average Daily Attendance), which is the funding formula for state monies.  All public schools receive such funding regardless whether a student is a U. S. citizen, documented or undocumented.  The schools are mandated to prepared students to become productive, civil minded citizens in our society and for higher education transition.  The fallacy, of course, was that while the DREAM Act students were being prepared for high school graduation and to become productive members of society, the policy makers knew this was not a reality, as these students because of their undocumented status could not be hired for any meaningful employment, and much less allowed to enroll in a post-secondary system.  Hence, an undocument child in the K-12 system “earned” ADA for a school,  was generating revenue to cover the costs for school operations and at the end of their K-12 “tour” were merely “spit-out” to fend on their own.  They had become ”ragged dolls” who had lost their value.

Will the DREAM Act students prevail in their quest and fight for social justice?

I truly believe so for many reasons.

One of the major reasons is their characteristic qualities and why I have such admiration for them.  At the forefront of their characteristic qualities is their TENACITY.  They are fighting the good fight and there is no retreat in their collective strategy.  I truly believe they will achieve their goal, which is Congress approval of the Dream Act.  If not this year, then the next and so on . . .  After all, the House of Representatives did approve the DREAM Act, which several years ago was perceived as impossible, and the recent “non-action” of the Senate was five votes short of necessary number to move forward.

Fighting the Good Fight - Keeping Faith with the DREAM Act Students and Greatness of America!

Historians, down the road, will confirm that the Senate’s recent “non-action” on the DREAM Act was a major societal blunder and that this racist act tarnished American history in the purest hypocritical sense.  However, several years down the road, these same historians will acknowledge that the DREAM Act students’ PERSEVERANCE ultimately led to Congress approval of the DREAM Act.  Tenacity and perseverance are integral qualities of the American character and all of the DREAM Act students exemplify these qualities in their daily life and struggle.

OC Dream Team - Aspirations to Contribute to America as Educated Citizens

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Posted on behalf of Dr. Richard Ramirez.

These comments are stictly those of Dr Richard Ramirez, and do not reflect any any organizations or group.  The “paper” offers a very brief sociological perspective about the DREAM Act students.  These young folks are tenacious in their quest and will ultimately succeed; after all, isn’t that the American way?

Pictures by Francisco “Paco” Barragan.

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About Richard Ramirez Ed. D.