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ACHIEVE Act proposed by Republicans

Republican version of the DREAM Act proves they haven't learned anything from Nov 6th.

It seems that the Republicans don’t ever want the Latino vote. Ever. Why? Because they don’t ever want to give millions of undocumented Latinos the chance to vote for them… Obama got 71% of the Latino vote this past month, it SEEMED like the Republicans had learned something from these numbers.

This week the Republicans presented the ACHIEVE Act, their version of the DREAM Act. The requirements are much more stringent than the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) implemented by the Obama administration in August and it is clear that the Republicans do not plan to incorporate even childhood immigrants into the fibers of our nation.

ACHIEVE (the name really gets me!) requires the child to have entered before turning 14 years old (DACA is under 16). While I had a hard time accepting that a child that was brought here at 16 has no possibility of legalizing his or her status, this new proposal asks me to accept punishing 14 year olds for something they had no control over. The new proposal also brings down the maximum age of the applicant to 29 (at time of implementation, so 27ish now?) from 30. While I understand most things in life have a cutoff and someone is going to lose, how does it make any sense to tell someone that, though they were brought here as a child at the age of 5, they have simply been in the United States too long and dug their roots too deep to be granted any sort of recourse. Try explaining that one to a 32 year old who came here in her early teens, paid for college out of pocket, and graduated in 8 years because they she to work 2 jobs – but she graduated and now owns a home, has US Citizen kids, is married to a US Citizen, pays her taxes and has no trace of an accent. Nonetheless, according to both of these proposals, she has just been here too long to be able to be a part of us.

Furthermore, in addition to a high school diploma, the Act requires either higher education or military service. Considering that undocumented youth cannot get access to in state tuition or financial aid, this is a catch 22 as many of them NEED status in order to attend University yet status is being kept from them unless they are in University. Moreover, are we comfortable with pushing kids into our volunteer military in exchange for immigration status? While many immigrants wish to pursue military service as they are highly patriotic to the United States and are willing to sacrifice to protect our way of life, do we need to apply this kind of pressure to recruit military men and women?

Most importantly, ACHIEVE would grant “permanent non immigrant status”, whatever that means. The only thing that is clear about this term is that it is not a pathway to residency and/or citizenship. This means that these youth will forever be second class citizens without the right to vote, equal access to higher education, protection from harm when abroad, and of course, the feeling of belonging somewhere that is their only home.

Just like with civil rights and gay marriage there is a right and wrong side to history on immigration reform and especially when dealing with those who were brought here as minors. Over time, more or less time, the right side will prevail because it is inevitable. Which side do you want to be on?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

VivaLaMigra December 12, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Sorry, Kira, no foreign national is guaranteed "the pursuit of happiness" by the US Constitution. At least, they have no inherent right to pursue happiness HERE! Foreign nationals are our guests; we can allow them to stay or ask them to leave. In fact, we can do more than "ask"...we are within the bounds of International Law to REQUIRE them to leave...ie. deport or repatriate them. As for property being confiscated, show me some examples of that. If the person has to be removed, the ALIEN should pay for transportation and if we liquidate property to cover those costs rather than saddling law-abiding taxpayers, I'm all for that. But, that is happening rarely, if ever; most "confiscation" involves motor vehicles that are on the road...you guessed it!...ILLEGALLY...no registration or insurance in effect. But, if citizens are killed, injured, or put at a financial loss due to illegal aliens' failure to comply with our laws I guess that's our fault, eh?
VivaLaMigra December 12, 2012 at 08:06 PM
No, we have thousands of violent criminals walking the streets who should be in their homelands. The problem is that we allow outlaw nations like Vietnam to simply "refuse" to take their citizens back. We should cut off all foreign aid and TRADE DEALS until they take this scum off our hands. It's THEIR problem, not ours. Of course, Ms. Gagarin would insist that they're all fine, upstanding types who make this a better country.
VivaLaMigra December 12, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Ms. Gagarin: There are by definition TWO types, or classes, of "persons" here: United States citizens, and aliens [foreign nationals]. Now, as for the CITIZENS, there is only one "class"..all citizens, either natural-born or naturalized are the SAME under the law with the rather minor exception that naturalized citizens can't hold the office of President. There will ALWAYS be a second class of "persons" unless you insist that all SEVEN BILLION "persons" on Earth have the same right to occupy US sovereign territory. They don't, and we certainly won't allow it. We have over 20,000,000 such persons occupying it illegally now. The question is: at what number, and at what time, will the citizenry DO something about it? Fifty million? One hundred million? Half a BILLION? There will be a breaking point. How many "immigrants" do overpopulated nations like China and India admit? Do you know that in just a few short decades, we'll be staring at those kinds of population figures if current trends continue? Lifeboat America will be full. We'll ultimately stop taking new passengers aboard or we'll all sink together.
Kira Gagarin December 12, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Ms/r. VivaLaMigra: You are missing my point... I am not debating immigration and inhabitants of the world nor overpopulated nations. Though we can, I think that would take more time than either of use have to dedicate to this forum. Lets take this in pieces, no? (Though I don't think the US will ever be "full", but as an immigrant I am biased, I suppose). I am talking here strictly about the republican proposal to create an immigration category for these DREAMERS (ACHIEVERS?) called "Permanent Non Immigrant". I think that is unacceptable and creates second class persons. I am confident that the law enacted will agree with me and will give these bright, motivated, organized, young people a path to citizenship. I guess we can re discuss in a year or so?
JR14 December 15, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Mark is right! They are not immigrants they are illegal aliens. get rid of them!

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