You can’t DREAM if you can’t hear

From Politico, Rep. Luis Gutierrez on the DREAM Act vote today:

“This is a very tailored and very structured piece of legislation,” said Gutierrez, who pointed out that beneficiaries would not receive Pell Grants, health care or other government assistance. “Nothing. Nothing but your own faith and your own determination and your own work to get you through school. Nothing but your own work and your own determination to join the military.

“And to pay the highest tax any one of us can pay — and that is the tax of our blood, of our life and our limb in defense of this nation.”

The irony of course is that Republicans, who constantly tout the virtues of self-improvement and individual responsibility, are completely opposed to providing the opportunity for immigrants to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, even if it’s done with no hand from the government. To them, the children of hardworking immigrants who dared to cross the border will forever be defined by their parents’ decision to bring them here illegally — who cares if they’ve served in the military or earned a college degree? As compelling as Gutierrez’s plea is, no doubt when the DREAM Act comes before the Senate, it will fall on deaf ears.

Gabriel Arana is a senior editor at The American Prospect in Washington, D.C. His pieces have appeared in The Nation, Slate, The Advocate, the Daily Beast, and other publications. He is a graduate of Yale University and a native of Nogales, Arizona.

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