I read an article today written by Ms. Elizabeth Llorente featuring Representative Louis Gutierrez and his tireless efforts to garner support for the Dream Act.
Below is the link:
The article was very well written and informative. I learned some new things while reading it, but also came across a few quotes by Rep. Gutierrez that gave me pause.
While I appreciate reading about Mr. Gutierrez’s points of view, there was no real logic behind them and I disagreed with them.
Below are a few things I have quoted from the article that Rep. Gutierrez has said.
He stated that the children off illegal immigrants are all-American and that we educated them.
“They didn’t decide, when they were six, seven or eight years old, to come here [illegally],” “Should we hold children responsible for the actions of their parents?”, (also,) “They’re all American except for that little paper,” “Culturally, linguistically, socially, American is who they are. We’ve educated them, so let’s let them join the military, let them go to college.”
I disagree on one count. They are not all-American. They were brought here by others in such a way that our laws were violated.
The fact that America is benevolent enough to educate a victimized child does not make this child American. It makes the child a visitor whose parents are taking advantage of our country. We are a compassionate people, but apparently very foolish. For a school to knowingly educate a child that is here illegally without locating (or attempting to) their parents and reporting their illegal presence in America is to behave irresponsibly.
Our nation’s laws are being broken. American men and women are being used. This is not a small matter and should be addressed instead of ignored.
Here in Detroit, MI, the school system receives a little more than $6,500.00 per child in tax payer’s money. There is an emphasis to attend school on “Head Count Day” like you wouldn’t believe. My figures are out of date, so it may be more now. The point I am making is this, every child here illegally is being educated on America’s tab while I doubt their parents are pouring into the tax system. It is common knowledge that illegal immigrants are paid “under the table”.
Later on in the article Mr. Gutierrez is reported as saying that Representative Harold Washington was not supported in his run for office of Mayor of Chicago due to racism.
“Gutiérrez worked to get Washington elected, and says he was aghast at the blatant racism he said the white Democratic leadership in the state displayed over Washington. “They didn’t support him, just because he was black,” he said.”
Perhaps it was Representative Washington’s views that determined who his supporters were. Did Representative Washington stand on a podium behind a lectern giving speeches to audiences that were exclusively made up of minorities? Regardless, a more gullible person would leave from reading these words with the impression that Chicago Democrats were unwilling to support an African-American man who wanted to be Mayor for no other reason than his skin color.
I find this hard to believe, and would have liked more details to support the accusation he made.
Rep. Gutierrez then uses two heroes from the Civil Rights Hall of Fame to garner empathy for his cause. This was not the best choice. Their battle was a righteous one, waged against hatred. They fought to establish their equality as human beings. The DREAM Act, while a compassionate measure – is not the same.
“Martin Luther King Jr. did not wait to call the Speaker of the House, or the Republican Party
chairman, or the president, before he fought for civil rights,” Gutiérrez said. “Rosa Parks did not wait to see if she could get support for legislation before she did what she had to do.”
Allow me to share what I read while learning about Mrs. Rosa Parks, one of my heroines. When asked why she chose to take a stand, she simply replied that she was just plain tired; tired of being treated poorly and too tired to be made to stand after a hard day’s work. Of course, as events began to unfold, she remained firm in her decision to remain seated on the bus, and through this
her heroic character was made known to all.
The law she broke was a narrow-minded bigoted regulation that demeaned her humanity and lessened her value. America’s laws in regards to immigration are not narrow-minded or bigoted. They are fair and just and I would ask anyone who disagreed with me to compare them to the laws of other countries – Mexico’s included. This nation is a melting pot of nationalities that have been given opportunity after opportunity – legally.
In regards to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., he was fighting a battle of epic proportion not even comparable to the motives behind the Dream Act. The African-American people were owned by the white man. This was a people who were being forced to drink out of separate drinking fountains and made to enter the back doors of establishments (if they were allowed in at all).
Latinos haven’t suffered anything remotely similar to the anguish of Africans dragged from their homeland to be treated as animals. While they did endure deplorable treatment by the Spaniards, even to the point of civilizations being ravaged for the lust for gold, and while they did have their land sold out from under them (by their own president), it cannot be held up next to and be compared to the inhumane treatment that the African-American people have suffered. What chances did they have to fight back? They were put in chains and transported across the ocean like cattle, deposited into this country where they were mistreated for generations.
The comparison is not an equal one.
In the case of the DREAM Act, he (Gutierrez) said, why deny a shot at legalization to youth who are the brightest, the smartest, who want to make the ultimate sacrifice of giving their limbs, their bodies, in defense of this country?”
As for the question, I have an answer. These brightest and smartest aren’t supposed to be here! Of course they are welcome to enter legally.
Shall we give all the brightest and smartest young people in the world the opportunities being suggested, regardless of their nationality?
Yes, if they follow proper protocol.
If they don’t? No, of course not.
Just the ones whose parents were crafty enough to make a go of it in this country without being citizens.
This behavior rewards parents who are successful at breaking our laws, giving the world the impression that if a mom and dad can just slip under the radar and stay under it long enough their children will have the opportunities afforded every single American.
Our laws are written for a reason. Under NO circumstances should men and women who take advantage of this wonderful nation be rewarded for their behavior. We cannot “look the other way” just because he (Gutierrez) says we should.
The blame for children/teens having to be sent back needs to be laid squarely on the shoulders of the parents who brought them here, not the shoulders of Republicans or any other American who wants their nation’s laws to be honored. To listen to and to believe Gutierrez is to embrace the faulty notions that it is our nation’s fault they have to go. I find this offensive. These children are victims of their parents’ actions, and these are the sad facts. Nothing we say or do will change them.
Rep. Gutierrez asks: “Should we hold children responsible for the actions of their parents?”
No one is putting the children in jail for the actions of their parents. The children belong to the parents, so when mom and dad are sent back home, so are they. It’s as simple as that.
“What country are we going to send them back to?” he (Gutierrez) asks. “They’re Americans.”
To answer this question, we will “send them back to” whichever country their parents left when they illegally entered our own. His question already declares that they did not originate here.
While it is a noble cause to want to help the youth that have been victimized by their parent’s immoral decisions, it is impractical and sends the wrong message to everyone watching, and believe me, the world is watching.
I am glad Ms. Llorente quoted Mr. Gutierrez when he said:
“If it’s immoral, then you denounce it.”
I would recommend that Mr. Gutierrez took his own advice.