Thursday, September 06, 2012
I'm not watching the Democratic convention; I'm working. So I'm glad I ran across this speech by a young woman -- a DREAMER -- who the party put briefly on the podium.
Until recently, Benita Veliz could have been deported for sticking her head up. She was brought to this country without papers as a child; she aced high school and college and is the kind of young person who makes our society better. But current immigration law provides NO WAY for her to legalize her presence in her country. President Obama has offered at least a temporary executive order remedy for some of the million or so young people in this situation. But Republicans in Congress won't even consider a real overall of failed immigration policies.
There is a solution, though not a quick or kind one. Latino voting numbers are growing all over the country. The children of immigrants are citizens. More and more, they vote. Republicans have trapped themselves in pipe dreams that these unfamiliar newcomers can be forced by abuse to "self-deport" in Mitt Romney's ugly phrase. Dems may not always have been much more welcoming, but they have figured out that Democratic success requires that those new Latino voters become part of their sprawling coalition. That's democracy at work. Better policies become mighty attractive when they have numbers of empowered people behind them.