DREAM Act: President Takes Action Where Congress Has Failed for 11 Years
Where Congress Has Failed for 11 Years
(HOUSTON) June 19, 2012: After a do-nothing Congress failed to take action on the bipartisan DREAM Act for 11 years, President Obama took action on Friday, when he announced that his Administration will implement parts of the legislation allowing some undocumented people to emerge from the shadows. The President removed the fear of deportation for about 1.34 million law-abiding young people brought here by their parents and who have earned a degree at an American University or College or served in our military.
“I applaud the President for taking action where Congress has once again failed to do so,” James Cargas, Candidate for Texas Congressional District 7.
The President’s action represents a small step towards much needed immigration reform. It is estimated that only 170,000 Texans at the most (a mere 0.7% of our state's population) will benefit from the President's use of his limited executive powers.
“Congress is not off the hook,” Cargas continued, “comprehensive immigration reform is still demanded because the President is unable to fully implement the DREAM Act without Congressional approval. Unilateral action is not the best solution, nor is it a permanent solution, but it represents a step forward out of the political quagmire. It is refreshing to see someone in Washington, D.C. doing something!”
“In the months to come, as these young people come out of the shadows and apply for deferred action and work permits, an important thing will happen -- we will begin to see their faces and learn their stories,” Cargas observed. “They will no longer be a think tank estimate, but real people, living in our neighborhoods, studying in our schools, and sitting next to us in the local cafe. They live in fear of deportation, knowing that their contribution to our communities and love for America mean nothing to an immigration agent ... until now.”
Cargas’ wife, Dr. Dorina Papageorgiou, has taken a different path immigrating legally to America. She came here after high school in Greece, attended college, earned her master’s degree and then her Ph.D. She has lived, studied and worked in America, and paid taxes along the way. She is now a neuroscientist at the Texas Medical Center. She has not taken a job from an American. Our economy is thirsty for talent like hers. We have always been a nation that rewards hard work and accomplishment. The young men and women who will benefit from the President's new guidelines did not grow up in their homeland; they grew up here with American values and culture. They will not take jobs from Americans, but will contribute to our society, economy and tax base just like the millions of immigrants that came before them, including my grandparents and wife.
"They pledge allegiance to our flag. They are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every way but one: on paper," President Obama said so eloquently.
Over a decade ago, the bipartisan drafters of the DREAM Act cleverly and deliberately chose the name they did because it rewards loyalty to America, its education system and military. It creates a path of opportunity for those facing legal uncertainty. In short, it embodies the American Dream for a modern economy and society. “Congress needs to finish what it started and pass the full DREAM Act,” Cargas concluded.
James Cargas is in a July 31 runoff election for the Democratic nomination. For more information, please visit: www.JamesCargas.com.