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DREAM supporters stung by Hagan’s vote

By Kirk Ross
Staff Writer

Supporters of a measure they say could clear a path to citizenship for 51,000 young people in North Carolina expressed outrage this weekend over Sen. Kay Hagan’s vote against the DREAM Act.

“She was the 41st vote, the deciding vote,” said Domenic Powell, a member of the NC DREAM Team, a statewide student group lobbying in support of the bill. “Our senator killed the DREAM Act.”

The bill would have allowed people who came to the U.S. as children an opportunity to become citizens if they went to college or chose to serve in the military. DREAM Act supporters say 65,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools each year.

In a statement after Saturday’s vote, Hagan said, “I believe the DREAM Act should be considered in the context of comprehensive immigration reform, not as a stand-alone bill. Republicans and Democrats need to work together to achieve practical, bipartisan immigration reform that will address the problem of illegal immigration at its core.”

Powell said many of the students and others he’s talked to throughout the state consider the vote a personal attack on the immigrant community in North Carolina.

“She does not have my vote anymore,” said Ilana Dubester, who has worked with several local and state Latino advocacy organizations. It’s a sentiment, she said, shared by many in the community.

Dubester praised the young people – “the dreamers” – for their ability to get the bill through the House this year after an eight-year battle. She said Hagan’s refusal to even meet with them was particularly infuriating.

“It’s unconscionable to me that she really wouldn’t give them the time of day,” she said.

Powell said going forward there will be a continued focus on assuring access to the state’s community colleges as well as watching what comes out of the new GOP-dominated General Assembly.

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  1. Jeff Mitchell

    “It’s unconscionable to me that she really wouldn’t give them the time of day,” she said.

    And why,preytell should she? She is paid by & voted in by American Citizens.Not ILLEGALS.What part of “ILLEGAL” don’t you understand.Their parents brought them in,not her.It’s their responsibility for bringing them into harms way,theirs & theirs alone.We owe them NOTHING.Shame on the parents.Secure the border,then & only then we’ll talk.

  2. MAJOR PAUL LILLING (USAF-RET)

    The failure to adopt-pass the “Dream Act” legislation is another indication of the narrow minded meaness of the bi-partisan conservative elements in our society regretfully gaining strength. Having served 21 years in the USAF, I have one objection to one of the requirements leading to citizenship. However, if Iwere in a position to vote for the bill as proposed, I would vote Yes. The reservation I have is the option of joining the military as a path to citizenship. Why? There is no draft. We have a voluntary military force. No one in our society is required to be subject to military service. I am sure that those individuals who are documented are not required to serve in the military as a prerequisite to citizenship. Why should these young and young adults de-facto citizens not be treated like any other citizen.

  3. M.L. Romero

    I happen to disagree with Sen. Kay Hagan that the DREAM Act shouldn’t be a stand-alone bill. I think it should because of the circumstances in which these kids ended up in this country. I believe that people that voluntarily and consciously broke the law and chose to come to this country illegally should be deported and apply for citizenship and wait in line just like everyone else. Do it legally. The point mostly everyone seems to be missing is that these young kids didn’t do that. They were brought here by their parents, were allowed to go to school, they have lived here most of their lives, a lot of them speak both English and Spanish, some don’t even speak Spanish. If you ever met one, you wouldn’t even know he/she is illegal unless you. They are Americanized in every way. I believe the DREAM Act should be for them alone and they shouldn’t be able to petition for family members. The adults who broke the law should be deported.

  4. paul panola

    Shame on the democrats that voted against our American kids and the unemployed.

    If the DREAM Act had been approved there will be 2 million less American kids going to college over the next several years because they wanted to give those slots to illegal aliens.

    Why do democrats hate American kids so much?

    Also DREAM would have resulted in 2 to 4 MILLION illegal aliens getting 10-year work permits immediately to compete against 22 million unemployed Americans.

    Democrats have not only put illegal aliens ahead of U.S. citizens but now they are actually punishing citizens so they can reward illegal alien criminals.

  5. Ben Foster

    @M L Romero and anyone who supported passage of the Dream Act:

    Are you aware that on Page 22 of HR5281 (The Dream Act) it states that the Attorney General shall “stay the removal” of all undocumented children who:

    1. Are at least 12 years old.
    2. Have been living in the USA for at least 5 years.
    3. Are enrolled full-time in primary or secondary school.

    This means that if the Attorney General plans to stay the removal of all these undocumented primary and secondary school children, he certainly has no plans to attempt to deport any of these kids’ parents who DID deliberately enter our country illegally.

    This means that practically the entire population of 12 to 30 million undocumented people would be allowed to remain in the USA, free from fear of deportation, once this bill was signed into law.