One of my young friends who would benefit from the provisions of the recently defeated DREAM Act is pictured here to the left in a photo taken several years ago when she was about 10-years-old. She is the smiling face in the middle of this "huddle" of joy.
This photo captures a moment in a day of summer camp or, possibly, a shot from one of our after-school activities with children from our community.
She came here when she was 5-years-old when her parents moved to Dallas from Mexico. They were undocumented. They came to work. She is undocumented.
She is now a high school graduate. She is now a college student. She is today what she has always been: a delightful, smart, honest, wonderful person.
Opponents of the DREAM Act bluster about border security, abiding by the law, not "jumping ahead in line" that is the immigration process.
I guess almost all of us are for all of those things. What complicates this issue are facts like these:
1) The American economy invited these immigrants to come here, to work for cheap wages, to benefit us all. Our government--that would be me and you--looked the other way, did not enforce the law at the workplace and the problem grew to its current scale. At the same time, the policy benefited everyone--employers and consumers who took advantage of cheap labor, larger profit margins and cheaper goods and services. Again, that would be all of us who benefited.
2) The child pictured above, my friend, had nothing to do with any of this. She simply accompanied her parents to the U. S. She played by the rules, as far as she knew them. She excelled. She is an asset to everyone who knows her and to countless who don't.
Pretending that we can turn back the clock, rectify all of the mistakes quickly and empty out over a million students by deporting them to Mexico is absurd. As Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison said last week in Washington, the vast majority of these young people have no home to return to in Mexico.
Believe what you want about comprehensive immigration reform. But don't forget my young friend.
Look at her picture.
She is not a statistic.
She is a wonderful person.
We don't need to send her anywhere, except on to finish her education so that she can continue to make a valuable contribution to our nation.
Sending her back to Mexico would be about like sending my two daughters back to Scotland.