Ruben Navarrette: DREAMers reconsidered
10/30/2013 3:35 PM
10/30/2013 3:36 PM
The question from the reporter was simple enough: “So, what do you think of the DREAMers?”
My answer was anything but simple.
In fact, I’m rethinking my stance on the estimated 1.8 million undocumented young people in the United States who were brought here by their parents when they were children and have lived the lives of typical American youth – which is both a blessing and a curse.
I still have the same criticisms: Many DREAMers feel entitled and think the world revolves around them because they’re spoiled by the attention they get from a movement that puts them front and center. Most of them are outmatched when dealing with politicians because they don’t understand how deceptive and manipulative politics can be. And the DREAMers’ tactics, i.e., disrupting congressional hearings and occupying the offices of members of Congress – including those of “friendlies” such as Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., one of the loudest voices for immigration reform – do more harm than good. Many DREAMers are so intoxicated by what they presume to be their own self-importance that they can’t see beyond themselves.
For saying this, I’ve been heckled, criticized on blogs and attacked on social media. It turns out that you should never tell those who are convinced that they’re special that they’re nothing special.
Yet I have a new respect for the DREAMers. As I watch them, I realize that they’re doing a much better job than most U.S.-born Hispanics – especially Mexican-Americans – of not being blinded by loyalty and instead cutting through the nonsense that permeates our political system. They’re trying to hold President Obama and Democrats accountable for the left’s duplicitous approach to the immigration issue. It’s not easy, but the DREAMers are giving liberals a well-deserved spanking.
Here is the left’s game plan on immigration: Democrats will purposely light up Republicans by asking for the moon and stars, such as full citizenship for about 11 million illegal immigrants who are likely to become reliable Democratic voters. Republicans naturally withhold their support and a few of them will probably also implode by saying crazy and racist things, thereby repelling Hispanics and sending them into the waiting arms of Democrats. Immigration reform will die, which will please Democrats because they don’t have to get crossways with blue-collar workers and organized labor – a powerful constituency that is afraid to compete for jobs with newly legalized immigrants who tend to be hungrier and work harder.
The beauty of this strategy is that Democrats get to keep the support of Hispanic voters by fooling them into thinking they’re pushing for immigration reform without having to anger working-class voters who might desert the Democratic Party if it became known as the party of “amnesty.” It’s a double win for Democrats.
The plan is elementary, but it’s been proved to be effective. It worked in 2006 and 2007, when Democrats used it to derail immigration reform in Congress.
So we can expect to see this strategy again in the next few months now that Obama has rebooted the debate by announcing his intention to pursue immigration reform as his next domestic policy initiative.
Many U.S. Hispanics – who in 2012 rewarded Obama for deporting a record number of undocumented immigrants (most of them Hispanic) by giving him 71 percent of their votes – fall for this ploy every time.
Not the DREAMers. Recently, a group of them protested outside the White House, demanding that Obama stop his deportation surge. While Hispanic activist groups, which are usually run by U.S.-born Hispanics and white liberals, and nonprofit reform advocates who feed at troughs filled with foundation money continue to advance the narrative that Republicans are the only snag to achieving immigration reform, the DREAMers figured out which end of Pennsylvania Avenue is responsible for removing illegal immigrants. Hint: It’s not the one where you find Congress.
Bravo. DREAMers are fed up with lies, and sick of political games. They’re tired of being spun and manipulated. They want results, real leadership and an immigration system worthy of a great country. As should we all.
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