November 2, 2007

Commentary:

Latino Students Dream Bigger than DREAM Act

By David Cruz
New America Media

Editor’s Note: The DREAM Act died Wednesday of last week in a U.S. Senate vote, days after the California version of the act was vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger. A student organizer argues that the DREAM Act, which would have made it possible for certain undocumented students to receive financial aid, never actually had anything to do with the real “dream.”

The DREAM Act didn’t come true, because it wasn’t our dream.

Since when does a people in vast numbers (12 million plus), who lie in the margins ask for a reduction in college fees instead of a real dream? A dream where Latino students not only get instate tuition but instate enrollment that reflects the size of our population.

In California, new UCs and CSUs should be expanded, just to accommodate the intelligence and potential of our people. “Hispanic” students are now more than half of the public school system, yet that number dwindles right around high school graduation. The stories of a few successful undocumented students distract us from the fact that half of our men are in prison and the other half are on their way — completely as intelligent and capable as the rest of us.

Undocumented students could climb their way through college and easily through life because they have created a formula and have followed it that allows them to recognize the amount of potential that is required. A formula that has been heavily and institutionally kept from the rest of the Raza student population.

A dream is a smile for having a sustainable way of life that doesn’t involve being cheap labor and a workhorse for global imperialism. We don’t want FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) jurisdiction unless society releases the jurisdiction of inequality that seems to cloud the Mexican American.

The so-called “undocumented” in America have been handed the stamp of barbarianism, forever captivated by a boxful of low self-esteem and crushed dreams, a box that has enough room for the rest of the Raza population. It is a box that keeps us waiting for dreams to pass in the courts and not in our imaginations, and thus our reality as a people.

It is ironic that the legislation is called the DREAM Act, though in my opinion, a dream has no possibility of failure. But an act does. They will keep up the act just as long as we keep acting we are happy with this situation.

If we are going to dream, then let’s really dream and show this world what our beautiful people are capable of.

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