The DREAM Act Challenge to FAIR

Catharine Debelle • Jun 14, 2012

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is throwing his name on two immigration bills this year in a play for Latino support in the upcoming election.  In May, Rubio co-sponsored the START 2.0 Act, which would offer immigrants with advanced degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics a path to citizenship. He also has plans to introduce his own version of the DREAM Act. Rubio’s version of DREAM is just the most recent in a series of similar bills introduced over the last ten years.

In response, the anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) released a new video and petition condemning the DREAM Act. The video pushes for the “enforcement of immigration policy, not free passes,” and falsely blames undocumented students for sky-rocketing tuition, scarce scholarships, work study programs, and unemployment.

Furthermore, even though Rubio’s DREAM Act provides only conditional permanent residency with very specific age restriction and application conditions, FAIR condemns it and instead calls for us to punish undocumented children for the “crimes” of their parents. FAIR, as is widely known, was founded by white nationalist John Tanton.

Anti-immigrant legislation and groups like FAIR seek to isolate undocumented residents and make it impossible for them to live with any sense of security or opportunity.

Although 12 states grant in-state tuition for undocumented students, others either ban undocumented students altogether or make higher education so financially non-viable that students never seek their full potential.  A crackdown on education is senseless and unconstitutional. In 1982, the Supreme Court found that all children living in the United States have the right to a public education, whatever their immigration status.

We have made an investment in these students and now FAIR and other anti-immigrant groups want to deport them. That’s the opposite of fair.

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