Bullying for citizenship

Posted on November 21, 2010

With little support from the American people for any type of legislation that waves a magic wand and makes illegal immigrants legal in this country, some college students in Texas are resorting to a new low in persuasion tactics:  refusing to eat until Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson promises to support the DREAM Act:

A group of University of Texas students have passed the eighth day of a hunger strike to persuade Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson to vote for a measure that would allow illegal immigrant youths to become legal residents.

Hutchinson agreed to meet the students so they would stop their strike, but she says she will not vote for the measure. Sen. Harry Reid, who won his re-election thanks to the overwhelming majority of Latinos who voted for him in Nevada, promised to bring the DREAM Act to a vote on the floor after Thanksgiving.

“We have tried everything else,” UT San Antonio student Lucy Martinez told the San Antonio Express News. “We have done lobbying, legislative visits, marches, sit-ins. We are tired of it. [The hunger strike] is similar to what we go through in our everyday lives — starving without a future.”

The bill would allow youths who were brought to the country as children to qualify for legal residency if they join the armed forces or attend college.

Contrary to the image the descriptor “youths” brings up in the article, the DREAM act would actually allow anyone under 35 to qualify for citizenship as long as they have lived here the last five years and have a GED or high school diploma.  All they have to do is graduate from two years of college or serve two years in the military.  Therefore, the legislation isn’t just for college age kids.  You can read details on the legislation here

So what do these protestors hope to achieve by their hunger strike?  Do they really think that trying to force a senator to vote the way they wish will actually endear them to the general populace?  On the contrary, I’d guess that this type of persuading will drive more people to oppose their efforts.  After all, these “kids” have already benefitted by receiving a free education for some (or all) of their K-12 education years courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer.  And yes, I realize that illegal immigrants pay sales tax and a few even pay property taxes.  But, there is no way that these monies equal the costs of educating the illegal immigrant child population (which includes children born here to illegal parents) which FAIR recently reported as being $52 billion.  

No, my guess is the more they push for citizenship, the more pushback they’ll receive.