Saturday, August 30, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

In praise of the DREAM 9

navarrette column sig

By
From page A9 | August 11, 2013 |

SAN DIEGO — There was a tweet that said it all. CIRiously@AreUCIRious noted the arrival of: “That awkward moment when Ruben Navarrette is more supportive of #dream9 than some liberal advocates.”

Exactly right.

I have been critical of the movement that professes to represent DREAMers, those undocumented young people who attend college or join the military and thus might have been eligible for legal status under the DREAM Act if the bill hadn’t died in the Senate in 2010. Too often, these young people – who think they’re special because they’re being given an accommodation that older immigrants don’t get – are just as self-entitled and narcissistic as their U.S.-born counterparts.

Yet on that day, I had praised the DREAM 9. This is a group of undocumented immigrants who, on July 22, donned graduation caps and gowns, linked arms and bravely crossed the U.S.-Mexico border to re-enter the only country they’ve ever known – the United States. They were promptly apprehended by U.S. immigration officials, and spent 17 days in a federal immigration detention facility in Eloy, Ariz.

The nine activists – Claudia Amaro, Adriana Gil Diaz, Luis Leon-Lopez, Maria Peniche-Vargas, Ceferino Santiago, Lulu Martinez-Valdez, Mario Felix Garcia, Marco Saavedra and Lizbeth Mateo Jimenez – became the new rock stars of the immigration movement. Martinez-Valdez and Peniche-Vargas became something larger: martyrs. They were in solitary confinement for raising a ruckus in the dining hall by yelling “Freedom!”

What did we expect? President Barack Obama has assured us that DREAMers are Americans in nearly every way. Don’t Americans yell when their freedom is taken away? Besides, assuming Obama was sincere – which is a stretch when the topic is immigration – what were these “Americans” doing locked up in an immigration jail to begin with?

For that matter, how did they find themselves in Mexico in the first place? Some of them went voluntarily, but some had been deported. How did that happen? Obama has repeatedly said that his administration is not deporting DREAMers, instead focusing on serious and violent criminals.

Tell that to the DREAMers who have been deported.

Counseled by immigration attorneys, the nine sought asylum. They were found to have “credible fear” of persecution in their home countries, and so asylum hearings were scheduled.

Last week, pending those hearings, they were released to family members in the United States.

This will go down in the books as a major victory for the DREAMer movement, one that exposed a huge rift on the left between those who like to talk about supporting immigrants and those who actually do it – even when it’s inconvenient.

In 17 days, these nine activists turned the immigration debate upside down by embarrassing the Obama administration, and by splitting immigration reformers between those who supported them and those who considered them an unfortunate distraction.

Some liberal immigrant advocates, it turned out, aren’t so liberal after all – if it means challenging a Democratic president. They’re much better at hammering Republicans. They hung the DREAM 9 out to dry, and tried to discredit them. Now the detractors have huevos rancheros on their faces.

Case in point: David Leopold, an Ohio-based immigration lawyer and former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. In his public comments on immigration, Leopold has been much more critical of Republicans than Democrats. He called the DREAM 9 protest a “publicity stunt that doesn’t do anything to move the ball forward in terms of immigration reform.”

He predicted that the DREAMers would not qualify for asylum, and demanded to know, “What was the point?” of forcing a confrontation with the Obama administration.

Seriously? What was the point of the Freedom Rides, or the Birmingham protests, or the sit-in at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C.? The point is always the same: to draw attention to what you consider an unjust law, policy or situation in the hopes of correcting the injustice.

Everyone gets an opinion, yet it matters what you do and who you represent. If you practice immigration law, and you callously dismiss a protest by undocumented immigrants simply to protect one of the most anti-immigrant administrations in U.S. history, you should try another line of work.

At one point, Leopold said: “When you walk outside the United States, that’s the end of the ballgame.”

Guess what? It’s a whole new ballgame.

Ruben Navarrette is a columnist for U-T San Diego. Reach him at ruben@rubennavarrette.com.

Ruben Navarrette

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Clarksburg family rolls with times

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Fresh, fruity, summer and fall Delta pitstops

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1

Saving the Gakuen: A bit of history tucked away in Clarksburg

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Old, new collide in Freeport

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1

Vacaville honors top crossing guards

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
 
State lifts Solano moth quarantine

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
 
Gallo subsidiary wins bid for Winterhawk Winery

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B10, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
The Leaven helps reach at-risk kids

By Murray Bass | From Page: B12

No plea as suspect in Suisun slaying appears in court

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A12, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Weather for Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B13

.

US / World

Man is guilty of murder after his dogs kill woman

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
California teacher reprimanded for sending tweets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

N. California officer accused of beating woman

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
California appeals teacher tenure ruling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Lawmakers pass first California groundwater rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
Lawmakers send gun restraining order bill to Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California marijuana grow stole reservation water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Feds critical of California twin tunnel project

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

California mentally ill inmates get special units

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
1K-pound alligator caught in Alabama sets record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Manatees may lose endangered species status

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Marathon bombing suspect: Delay trial until 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Border Patrol agent fires at armed militia member

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Westerners linked to extremist groups in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Rescuers locate 20 of 24 trapped in Nicaragua mine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
At heart of Syria fears, extremists returning home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Experimental Ebola drug heals all monkeys in study

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
.

Opinion

Cheers, jeers for the week of Aug. 24-30, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

 
Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Changing election dates: Dems seek more domination

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

Zombies are not for fun

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 6 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Our irresponsible sister is getting the house and mistreats Mom

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 30, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

Ex-Myanmar beauty queen accused of stealing crown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Cee Lo Green enters no contest plea in drug case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Chris Brown due back in DC court for plea hearing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Fire destroys house on late author Clancy’s estate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Chelsea Clinton quits as NBC News reporter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
Daughter: Joan Rivers is in ‘serious condition

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Hip-hop moves as strong force for Michael Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
.

Sports

 
No. 11 Stanford set to open season vs. UC Davis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

After eventful offseason, Northwestern meets Cal Bears in opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
49ers linebacker Aldon Smith suspended by NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders face decisions at QB heading into opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Prep volleyball: Vacaville Christian falls to D-I power Davis

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
JC women’s soccer: Solano kicks off season with 0-0 draw

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Palmer opens with a 63 to lead in Boston

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Pernice, Bryant share Champions Tour lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

I.K. Kim increases Portland Classic lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
A’s fall back in AL West, blanked by Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Posey goes 5 for 5 in 6 innings, Giants rout Brewers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Errani’s ‘cottage cheese’ serve tops Venus at Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Tony Stewart back at the track, looking to heal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Florence Virginia Boes

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Darrell D. Stevens

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Lois C. Clark

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Hazel Gertrude Wamsley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Jerry Lee Trammell

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
.

Comics

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
.

Home Seller 08/30/14

Real estate transactions for Aug. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2