Overreaction Tuesday on Obama’s Watch

Yes, even as the Obama Administration’s USDA (especially Tom Vilsack) overreacted by firing Ms. Sherrod for 38 seconds of video put up by a right-wing website, there was another overreaction during the day.

Did you know that 21 DREAMers were arrested for protesting at Hart Senate Office Building yesterday?

These are students without documentation who were willing to go as far as possible to send a message to Washington, DC. So, an arrest would be a huge risk, whether they are detained by ICE after the arrest, or whether the arrest affects any future possibility of a change in their residency status. But the message was obviously received.

The Hill covered the arrests and reaction on Capitol Hill.

Earlier in the day, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), author of the DREAM Act, addressed the larger group, which was staging a mock graduation ceremony.

Reached for comment following the arrests, a Durbin spokesman said, “Today’s demonstrations by some DREAM Act supporters … crossed the line from passionate advocacy to inappropriate behavior. The tide of public opinion has long been on the side of the DREAM Act — it has broad bipartisan support in Congress and poll after poll shows that people of all political persuasion believe in its goals. Sen. Durbin believes that we will win this fight on the merits, not through public demonstrations or publicity stunts.”

I agree with LatinaLista.

Unfortunately, that Washington spokesperson doesn’t get it — a sign that he probably isn’t alone. It’s precisely these kinds of “publicity stunts” that are pushing the issue like it’s never been pushed before. Most agree that if there is a fight to be won when it comes to undocumented immigrants, it will be with the DREAM Act. But, the question everyone wants to know is — When?

Very true. The DREAM Act students, frustrated, have been forced to wait due to Capitol Hill politics. Whether it is Republicans who have united against any Comprehensive Immigration Reform, or Democrats and Immigration Reform groups who only want CIR and not a stand-alone DREAM Act, these kids are caught in the middle of a political debate.  What they seem to forget (even I did at one point) is that we’re dealing with a very human issue–we’re dealing with lives here.

We know how far the Republicans are willing to go when it comes to lives. Blocking health care (even going as far as excluding immigrants), blocking unemployment benefits, we should hardly be surprised when they play politics with immigration, or worse, make it the political hot potato that places fear into the Democrats.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration continues overreacting to just about anything that makes them look pro-Human and pro-Civil Rights.

From reports on the ground (Thanks Guillermo), we’re hearing most of the students have been released by Capitol Police. A few more to go.

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