A delegation of DREAMers from the DRM Capitol Group and DREAM Action Boston visited one of Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA)’s campaign’s offices yesterday, but were left to wait outside before they could speak with the campaign about Brown’s stance on the DREAM Act.
“We wanted to simply speak on the DREAM Act, which is personal to us,” said Carlos Rojas, a DREAMer from Colombia, according to the group’s press release. “Scott Brown’s opposition on the DREAM Act and Immigration contradicts his message that he is a moderate.”
As they waited outside, the DREAMers brandished posters saying “shame on you, Scott Brown, for killing our dreams.” As DREAMer Sergiu Voicila said, “If they do not want to speak to us politely, we will colorfully express our message.”
Eventually, Brown’s Communications Director Colin Reed met with them outside but had little to say besides Republican talking points about supporting legal immigration. The DREAMers shared with him stories about their families, terrorism in the countries they had originally come from, how hard they worked in school and how they contributed to the US in taxes. He told them that Sen. Brown is a fan of legal immigration, but does not believe that in-state tuition, drivers’ licenses, or citizenship should be extended to undocumented immigrants—even DREAMers.
“We support legal immigration,” Reed said, “however, we have a different stance on illegal immigration and we’ll have to disagree.”
Sen. Brown is campaigning against Democrat Elizabeth Warren in this year’s marquee Senate race. As a Republican in deep-blue Massachusetts, Brown often portrays himself as a moderate—a description that does not hold up when it comes to Brown’s positions on immigration. When the DREAM Act came to the Senate floor in 2010, Brown voted against it. When President Obama first announced the deferred action for DREAMers program that has provided relief to immigrant youth like the ones protesting Brown yesterday, the Senator denounced it. And Brown has voiced strong support for Secure Communities—a widely criticized federal program that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has attempted to withdraw from.
Last month at a debate, Brown and Warren both had the opportunity to talk about the DREAM Act. The difference is stark:
The two candidates disagreed on immigration during a segment of the debate when a senior at the Lowell campus of the University of Massachusetts, Vladimir Saldana, asked the candidates where they stood on the topic of a pending bill that would create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who complete high school and obtain a higher education degree or join the military.
Brown, who has never shied away from his adamant opposition of the bill, renewed his statement at the debate. “I am in favor of full legal immigration. I don’t support the DREAM Act. It’s a form of back door amnesty,” he said.
Warren, on the other hand, said she supports the idea, calling it the “right” thing to do.
“I would strongly support the DREAM Act. I believe in it. We need comprehensive immigration reform.”
“Back door amnesty” is a standard talking point from the hard-core anti-immigrant crowd. No wonder his campaign wouldn’t let DREAMers in the door.
The DREAMers have vowed to continue putting pressure on Sen. Brown for his extremist positions on immigration as the campaign draws closer to the election, and beyond.