As our ace reporter Julianne Hing can attest, the DREAM Act has been bubbling fast this week with new advances, compromises and debunkings happening every passing hour. And as with all things immigrant, it’s been burning up our comment threads.

This morning, I was struck by the following exchange on Julianne’s reporting that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has called the DREAM Act “good for national security.” In the comments, CitizenDreamer’s response to the expected conservative pushback is worth studying: it reframes the personas with a stake in the debate, it cites facts, it gives pressure from the left and it closes with an outreach to the bill’s detractors on the right. Nice.

Here’s Ali A. with the pitch:

CitizenDreamer, you’re pretty obviously someone who would benefit from the Dream Act, yet I bet you don’t think you OR your parents have done anything wrong in breaking the laws of this countrry. That alone is reason enough to oppose this very bad bill.

The whole Dream Act is an AMNESTY. It lets people who are DEPORTABLE under current law evade the consequences of their actions. Not only to evade consequences but to be REWARDED for breaking the law with the very thing they broke the law to get. THAT is amnesty. And if you don’t understand that, then you’re too dumb to be one of the “college students” that purportedly would benefit from this bill. Of course, the real intent of this bill is to legalize not only “children” (up to age 30 or so, depending on which version you look at) but also eventually their parents who brought them here illegally.

And the swing from CitizenDreamer:

You are right. I would benefit from the DREAM Act. As a 15th generation American (on my mother’s side, my father’s people didn’t get here until 1807), I would benefit from the regularization of the status of the best pool of potential citizens this country will ever receive.

As a citizen, I would also benefit from their increased economic contributions. The CBO report released yesterday found that the net impact of the DREAM Act is a $1.4 billion benefit. As importantly, we could focus our scarce enforcement resources on those who should truly be excluded.

As long as we are discussing education, however, you may want to look up the word “amnesty”. I love the way your side tosses around words as if they were weapons without realizing they have meaning. NO aspect of the DREAM Act is an amnesty. The Act, instead, is a rigorous (I think artificially rigorous) and orderly path to regularize status for people who were brought here as children either without documents, or whose documents expired while they were children.

I am sorry for you if your concept of this country is so small that it cannot accommodate these young people.

Finally, I am going to assume you are not intentionally misrepresenting the bill, but are merely repeating someone else’s talking points. The original age 35 cut off was intended to offer a path to regularization to those who would have been eligible for the 2001 Hatch bill. The same provisions apply. They have to have been here before age 15, etc. This means that they are being offered a path to regularized status based on the status they arrived under. It is disingenuous, at best, to treat the age 30 cut-off as if it were a separate and distinct population.

BTW: your chain-migration mythology has been exploded since the first day that Sessions trotted out those fraudulent claims in his “White Paper”. If they will lie to you about that, what else are they lying about?

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Read this online at http://colorlines.com/archives/2010/12/in_the_comments_as_a_15th_generation_american_i_would_benefit_from_the_dream_act.html


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