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Senator Obama, Say it isn’t So!

Presidential hopeful Barack Obama may hold the future of America in his hands
but his support of the Dream Act is troubling to some in his own base.
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Jill Chapin

September 27, 2007

Please, Senator Obama, tell the American citizens -- who may hold your future in their hands -- that you are not endorsing the DREAM Act that was reintroduced in the Senate.

I was asked by a friend to call Illinois Senator Dick Durbin to voice my displeasure over his support for this DREAM Act, which is indeed a bad dream for many Americans. It aims to eliminate the federal provision that discourages states from providing in-state tuition without regard to immigration status. However, it offers no such discount to those American kids who are even poorer, or more disadvantaged than the illegal immigrants this bill wants to help.

After three attempts to get through to Senator Durbin’s office, the Capitol operator offered to connect me with the "other Illinois senator." That’s how I came to have a shouting match with one of Senator Obama’s senior aides when he told me that his boss also supports this bill.

Senator Obama, how could you? Are you reaching out to a constituency who is not even part of our citizenry? Are you caving in to special interests? Are you trying to be all things to all people?

This bill resonates with your base in a way that will ensure your losing the nomination. It smacks of unfairness, of people at the end of the line getting to move up to the front. It appeases the non-citizens while enraging registered voters. It makes us question your priorities. In a perfect world, all children would have access to a first-class education. But the United States simply cannot educate the world.

So your first allegiance should be to poor, disadvantaged American citizens who would salivate at the chance of attending an out of state school at in-state tuition rates. If there are resources left over to then help legal immigrants, then it is reasonable and right to help as many of them as we can.

Life is not fair, Senator Obama. Our schools are failing our own kids; until their needs are addressed, you are not in a position to use your influence to fund the world’s education. And you should not be rearranging truths to suit your agenda. Changing the language of our immigration laws simply to allow those of illegal status to be reclassified as legal, with all the benefits that change implies, is an insult not only to Americans but to legal immigrants. They have all played by the rules and are now shoved aside as others move in front of them. Your message seems to be that our laws are pliable, subject to what is politically expedient at the time.

Your biggest supporters such as I fear that we were so desperate to find a new kind of candidate that our gullibility in believing in you has been exposed.

It appears that over sixty senators support this bill, including many of the presidential candidates. If you want to break away from the crowd and take a stance that Americans will notice, then take away your support for this nightmare of a DREAM Act.

You can argue all you want that it isn’t unfair; just the appearance of unfairness is enough to derail your nomination. That is because you have more credibility to lose than the other candidates simply because you began with more credibility.

If you hope to win the nomination for President of the United States, then you shouldn’t be campaigning for President of North America.



Editor's Note: Views expressed by columnists published on FogCityJournal.com are not necessarily the views or beliefs of Fog City Journal. Fog City Journal supports free speech in all its varied forms and provides a forum for a complete spectrum of viewpoints.



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