Reader Editorial: Voinovich voted wrong on DREAM act
September 27, 2010 · Print This Article
Editor’s Note – The views and opinions expressed in this article are of those of the author only. They in no way reflect the views and opinions of hispanicohio.com or its partners and affiliates.
I among many others watched the vote live. As a Latino, I can’t tell you how disappointed I was that Senator Voinovich voted NO. I feel I must take the time to help educate the other Latino’s on this list how he denied our community a huge opportunity this week. The Latino community of Ohio deserves to know why Senator Voinovich (the son of immigrants) stood as a roadblock to this important legislation on Sept. 21.
His justification for voting “no” includes the reasoning that the DREAM Act deals with immigration and shouldn’t be in the bill. This is incorrect because the DREAM Act wasn’t included in the bill itself. If he had voted yes, he would have given the DREAM Act an opportunity to merely be debated in the future. It would have had to pass a vote on its own to be included in the legislation.
Second, the DREAM Act does in fact have an important tie to our national defense. The DREAM Act will benefit our armed forces by providing a path toward citizenship for undocumented young people who were brought here as children, graduate high school, stay out of trouble and attend college or serve in the military. In fact, the Department of Defense thinks so highly of the DREAM Act that it was recommended in their Strategic Plan for 2010-2012 as an important tool to “shape and maintain a mission-ready All Volunteer Force.” The DREAM Act is also endorsed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, General Colin Powell, and many others.
Many undocumented Latino’s are learning the ropes right now as cadets in JROTC programs around the country, including Ohio. They have dreams of serving our country in the military, if only given the chance. The DREAM Act will provide a path to citizenship for these high-achieving students to fully realize their potential and enlist in the military.
Under the current law, they are unable to even apply for a social security number, and this is keeping them from being able to fully contribute their talents to our great nation. Immigrants, particularly Latinos, have a long history of serving courageously and paying the ultimate price for our country.
It is my hope that we as a community will hold Voinovich accountable for his vote. Que no nos olvidemos.