Things That Matter

The DREAM Act Has Been Reintroduced And It May Have A Winning Chance This Time

In a year marked by increased raids, travel bans, and repeated threats to DACA, the bipartisan reintroduction of the DREAM Act stands as a small victory for immigrant rights groups. While its passage is not certain, its chances are far from hopeless if immigrant communities continue to engage allies.

Senator Dick Durbin first introduced the DREAM Act in 2001 to create a multi-step path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who, like me, arrived as minors. It would allow long-term residents who entered the country as minors to apply for conditional permanent residency and eventually citizenship if they first meet certain educational, military, or employment requirements.

Opponents of the DREAM Act argue that it would inspire a wave of illegal border crossings. This is a myth. Only those who can prove that they entered before the age 18 and had been continuously present in the United States for at least four years prior to the date of enactment would be eligible for conditional residency. The DREAM Act is also not amnesty. The path to citizenship would take at least thirteen years. I would be 40 years old when I could naturalize.

In 2010, the DREAM Act passed the House of Representatives but failed to garner the 60 votes necessary to clear the Senate. This time we can get it through. Assuming full Democratic support, we need at least nine additional Republican votes to avoid a filibuster. That number is not out of reach if we consider that seven current Republican Senators voted for comprehensive immigration reform in 2013, and two others support legislation protecting DACA recipients from deportation.

Its prospects in the House of Representatives are dire than in the Senate, but not hopeless. A major obstacle in the House is that many congressional districts lack sufficient immigrant presence, making it easier for representatives to vote against the bill. Although Latino and Asian Americans tend to have a more recent connection to immigration, a poll conducted by Global Strategy Group shows that a majority of Americans support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Dreamers alone cannot push Congress to act. We also need allies to do so, especially in states like Pennsylvania where immigrants do not comprise a significant electorate. Allies add financial resources and electoral power to our movement. I have been encouraged by the support I have encountered across the state from people not directly impacted by the failures of our immigration system. It is our responsibility to educate and mobilize them. Failing to do so is tantamount to malpractice.

What about President Trump, the man who built his political career on promises of merciless enforcement? Despite opposition from his base, Trump has softened his stance on DREAMers and has yet to end DACA, a discretionary policy allowing DREAM Act eligible youth to temporarily live and work in the United States.

DACA made it possible for me to complete two graduate degrees, to pursue opportunities abroad, and find employment that I am passionate about. Its full impact, however, is more subtle. I feel it every time I drive past a police car knowing I am licensed to drive, or when I don’t stress about what to put on under Social Security in an application, or when I confidently advocate for the rights of my community.

Now DACA is once again under threat. Passing the DREAM Act would provide us a path to citizenship and with it a level of security that DACA cannot. Our futures will no longer be at the mercy of the courts or whoever occupies the White House.

Our community won DACA because we organized and fearlessly shared our stories with America. As we continue to build our power, let us reject language that denigrates our parents for doing their best for us. They have in many cases sacrificed their dreams and well being so that we may realize ours. Accepting a rhetoric that absolves us while convicting our parents for bringing us to this country makes us accomplices in their continued marginalization. Let us move forward without exploiting their struggle for our benefit.

Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra is a graduate of Amherst and Cambridge Universities and currently works for the Pennsylvania Immigration & Citizenship Coalition (PICC).

READ: Judge Says Immigration Officials Didn’t Follow Protocol With DREAMer Jessica Colotl

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J.Lo’s Social Media Challenge Has Backfired Spectacularly And People Are Having Too Much Fun

Entertainment

J.Lo’s Social Media Challenge Has Backfired Spectacularly And People Are Having Too Much Fun

@jlo / Twitter

Social media challenges are everywhere and some of them are super fun. However, J.Lo’s attempt to create a social media challenge for the anniversary of her song “Love Don’t Cost A Thing.” The challenge has drawn more trolling responses than genuine and here’s why.

J.Lo was probably expecting a different reaction to #LoveDontCostAThingChallenge.

J.Lo’s song “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” was released 20 years ago and it was a very important moment in Latino pop culture. We all know the song by heart and if you say you don’t then you aren’t being honest. Yet, J.Lo’s way of trying to celebrate the song’s release is, well, bizarre. We should keep in mind that we are dealing with an ongoing pandemic and it is winter, but J.Lo wants you to find a beach, walk around, and through your clothes and jewelry everywhere?

In fact, one of the responses questioning the challenge has more likes than the original post.

J.Lo literally just walked on the beach and threw her jewelry and clothing around. Like, what is happening here? There are so many questions right now and the text of the original tweet offers no real guidance. How is this a fun challenge?

@_nellerita makes a good point. We don’t have valuables that we can just throw around for a social media challenge. Most challenges involve dances, which gives a set parameter of what to do. This is just too open ended and, quite frankly, a wild concept.

Legit, people have a lot of questions about what is happening with the challenge and the tossing of jewelry.

A lot of people don’t have jewelry just laying around, tbh. We might have an Apple watch that is the only real thing we wear but why would we throw it? It is clear that J.Lo was hoping to see people recreate the iconic scene of the music video when she stripped down to go into the water. While the moment is iconic, it is something that we are not super eager to recreate as we stay isolated during this Covid winter.

Overwhelmingly, this has been the reaction to the #LoveDontCostAThingChallenge.

Most of Twitter is just sitting there trying to figure out what exactly is going on with J.Lo and her challenge. We appreciate someone getting people involved and mobilized. We also want to see our people succeed. However, some things need to be thought out a little bit more than this social media challenge.

READ: J.Lo Posted BTS Super Bowl Footage And Shared Her Booty Shaking “Tutorial” With Shakira

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Touching Tributes To Kobe Bryant Fill Social Media One Year After His Tragic Death

Entertainment

Touching Tributes To Kobe Bryant Fill Social Media One Year After His Tragic Death

Christian Petersen / Getty Images

Last year was a wild and often scary time. The world will forever remember 2020 being the year that everything stopped and we all had to isolate. It was also the year that we lost Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash and that death rattled the world.

Last year started with the shocking news of Kobe Bryant dying in a helicopter crash.

John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Ara Zobayan, Christina Mauser, Kobe Bryant, and Gianna Bryant all died when a helicopter crashed in the hills near Calabasas. The crash was a shock but TMZ reporting the deaths of Kobe and Gianna without Vanessa being notified angered many. Most of the world learned about Kobe and Gianni’s death because of the TMZ article.

People are remembering the Black Mamba as more than a basketball player.

Fans and friends have shared stories of Kobe and what he has meant to them. Social media is filled with fellow athletes remembering times they spent with Kobe and the kindness and wisdom he gave them in those moments. The basketball player was a legend in the sporting world and became a very important member of the Los Angeles community.

The Dallas Mavericks honored Kobe today in a tweet.

In 2007, Kobe requested a trade to leave the LA Lakers. Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, revealed that during that time the Mavericks almost acquired Kobe in a trade. Though Kobe almost went to Chicago, Dallas was in the running to be the next home for the legend.

Kobe was honored throughout the sporting world with some teams retiring his numbers. The sorting world lost a legend and ambassador for athletics that day and his absence is still felt strongly today.

Some people have shared small notes that Kobe sent them.

Kobe always had the reputation of being a thoughtful and kind person. Someone that people were able to connect with professionally and personally. These moments have endeared him to the LA community and why the city mourned his sudden death for months after.

You can check out Kobe with Guillermo in this clip of Guillermo’s NBA Media Day interviews.

Continue to rest in peace, Kobe. You are greatly missed.

READ: People Are Keeping Kobe Bryant Murals Safe

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