Posted by on December 08, 2010 in Blog
I am so proud of the work so many Arab Americans did to support passage of the DREAM Act. It passed in the House of Representatives tonight by a vote of 216 to 198.
Despite the misinformation and hysteria spread by opponents, this was a good bill. In its current form, it is cost neutral. It will not take jobs from Americans, requiring as it does attendance at college or enlistment in the military (that's the reason Secretary of Defense Gates is supportive of the DREAM Act). And it effects thousands, not millions of young people -- kids who through no fault of their own are caught in a bind. I know many of these kids (they are not all Latinos, incidentally -- many Arabs, Asian and European ethnics are in this situation). They shouldn't be deported because they have nowhere to go "back" to -- since many don't even speak the language of the countries to which they will be deported and never really lived there.
The House has passed this bill, now I pray the Senate will too.
On a personal note, this issue is important to me. My dad was an "illegal immigrant," like many other Lebanese who came to the U.S. in the post-WWI era. He worked hard, was granted amnesty and became a proud American who made a great contribution to his community and to our country. Enacting the DREAM Act will allow countless other young people -- kids whose only home is America -- to make their contributions to this great country like my father did nearly a century ago.