Saturday, November 27, 2010

"I tried" Will Not Be Enough-DREAMers, Get Your List of Demands Ready

UT-Austin student asks the right question to
Republicans and Democrats alike.
From the left and the right we have been demonized and dehumanized and too often get treated as tools to advance agendas. Perhaps at one point we were welcomed in good spirit by our supposed allies on the Hill but that good spirit has not delivered legislative wins for undocumented youth and our families. It leaves us all to wonder why, after nearly ten years, we are still starving and without that lifeline that many of us need and have been promised. Well, the smiles and promises from our “friends” on the Hill are not enough and they never have been no matter how much we have been told otherwise by advocacy organizations. 

I would say there is a big problem when DREAMers and allies are on their 16th day of a hunger strike and we still have to fight to get respect. There is a big problem when we have to justify going on hunger strikes when it comes to targeting Democrats but suddenly when it is a Republican target it is perfectly okay and inspiring.

One of the things I have understood very well while in this fight is that we must not let our guard down in anything but especially when it comes to trust. There is a big misconception that this is a fight solely against the conservative forces that block everything in Congress. This fight is just as much about pushing the left and everyone else in between who have shown time and time again that they do not genuinely stand with us.  At the end of the day, politicians will be politicians. One side will fight against the other and both will fight against us. As we continue in this mess let’s remember that our responsibility is to keep good perspective and not allow any one side to take our immigrant community for granted. As the lame duck continues we definitely need to concentrate on targeting Republicans but we would also do good in crafting our list of demands that our “friends” in DC must deliver on in the likely scenario that they just check the “I tried” box once again.

Oh, and just in case anyone is wondering if "demanding" is appropriate, the answer to that is an unequivocal YES. What is not appropriate is for politicians and advocacy organizations to continue with business as usual while we have stopped our lives to devote all we have to the passage of the DREAM Act. It is our responsibility to stand up and demand results because even our "best friends" in Congress will not do it on their own. We must get results for our community on the ground because these politicians have won their power at our expense and the big advocacy organizations that back them up are just the same. 

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