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Monday Morning Recap: “Let Me Be A Soldier,” Utah Vigil, Powell for DREAM

by Jacquelyn Mahendra on 09/20/2010 at 9:19am

UPDATE 11:15 am EST: Frank Sharry’s op-ed in The Hill argues, “The Senate should approve the DREAM Act now.

Things are moving fast leading up to the first vote to allow the DREAM Act to move forward (scheduled for tomorrow afternoon), so here’s a quick recap…

First, in case you needed some good reasons to support DREAM, check out the great editorials over at the New York Times, New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Aurora SentinelLos Angeles Times and the Salt Lake Tribune over the weekend.

The Wall Street Journal covers the story of DREAM-eligible UCLA student David Cho, and reminds us:

Pentagon officials support the Dream Act. In its strategic plan for fiscal years 2010-2012, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness cited the Dream Act as a “smart” way to attract quality recruits to the all-volunteer force.

Yesterday, as reported by The Hill, Colin Powell made a strong argument for the DREAM Act on Meet the Press:

Retired Gen. Colin Powell, a former chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, on Sunday made the case for Congress to pass the DREAM Act, a way for young illegal immigrants to become citizens if they attend college or join the military. […] “Immigration is what’s keeping this country’s lifeblood moving forward,” he said. 

The retired General also argued, “Republicans should not embrace an anti-immigration platform.”           

America’s Voice Executive Director Frank Sharry went on FOX Sunday to talk politics and policy – including why the DREAM Act is germane to the Defense Reauthorization Bill, to which it’s been attached and how a dozen current Republicans have already voted for the bill in some form.

The Hill picks up where Frank left off with a rundown of Republicans who voted yes on the DREAM Act in 2007:

Republicans who voted yes in 2007
Bob Bennett (Utah)
Sam Brownback (Kan.)
Norm Coleman (Minn.) *
Susan Collins (Maine)
Larry Craig (Idaho) *
Chuck Hagel (Neb.) *
Orrin Hatch (Utah)
Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas)
Trent Lott (Miss.) *
Richard Lugar (Ind.)
Mel Martinez (Fla.) *
Olympia Snowe (Maine)

Senators who did not vote
Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
Chris Dodd (D-Conn.)
Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.)*
John McCain (R-Ariz.)

As Daily Kos founder Markos summed it up Friday, the DREAM Act is certainly germane to the defense bill:

The DREAM Act will be voted on as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill next week. It’s certainly relevant to the defense bill, as the Pentagon is salivating at the opportunity for recruiting from foreign-language speaking youngsters… It’s a no-brainer piece of legislation.

Via Citizen Orange, would-be soldiers are now on their fifth day set up outside of Senator John McCain’s Phoenix, Arizona office. Michael, an undocumented aspiring serviceman, is leading a “boot camp” that has a simple but powerful message:

“Let me be a soldier.”

Watch the My Fox Phoenix footage:

 

Also, Miami activists sent an SOS to Florida Senators, spelling out “DREAM Act” with their bodies on the beach, as pictured above right (photo from the Florida Immigrant Coalition, FLIC).

Finally, here’s an excerpt from a notice for one of the many, many events happening around the country this week, in support of the DREAM Act:

Utah Dares to DREAM: Community Urges Senators Hatch and Bennett to Stand Up for an American Dream, the DREAM Act

All over the nation, students, community members, religious leaders and organizations are urging their representatives to support the DREAM Act. Utah is also making their voice heard by encouraging Senators Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett to support and vote YES on the DREAM Act next week. “We know that senator Hatch supported undocumented students and the DREAM Act in 2007 when it was also attached to DOD. He has the power to make thousands of American Dreams come true in 2010. Senator Bob Bennett also voted yes for the DREAM Act in 2007 and we are asking him to be a champion for education and make history in Utah.” – Jose Hernandez, Co-Chair, Salt Lake DREAM Team

The full advisory is below the jump, but keep those calls coming:

English: 866-996-5161
Spanish: 866-961-4293

It’s going to be a busy week!

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