Republicans may not like it, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday he’s going to go ahead with bills to repeal a ban on gays serving openly in the military and provide undocumented college students and military recruits a chance to become American citizens.
In September, Reid attempted to use the annual defense authorization bill as a vehicle to pass both a repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that prevents gays from serving openly in the military, and the DREAM Act, which puts qualifying young undocumented adults who were brought to the country as children on a pathway to citizenship.
The must-pass measure to fund the military will serve once again as the backbone piece of legislation for the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, while the DREAM Act will be presented on its own for an up-or-down vote.
It's long past time for action on repealing DADT and passing the DREAM Act.
This isn't about "cronies" or "illegals", unless one considers brave military soldiers who happen to be gay "cronies" and kids who had no say in where they'd end up "illegals". This is about HUMAN BEINGS. This is about kids being unfairly shut out of jobs and colleges because they can't "go through the process like everyone else", as well as soldiers getting the fair treatment they deserve for fighting so hard for our country.
Under current law, soldiers are still being discharged from the military simply because of who they are. It doesn't matter that they're good soldiers. It doesn't matter that they are so patriotic that they enlisted to fight for our country. It doesn't matter that they have lived up to our military's standards of honor, courage, and service. All that matters under DADT is that they may be gay or transgender, so they can't serve. It's ridiculous, and needed to end yesterday.
And under current law, children who were brought into this country undocumented (by their parents, or perhaps by someone else) can't go through any sort of process because they're undocumented. But because they grew up here in America, learning English and going to American K-12 schools, it makes no sense to tear them away from their families and deport them. All the DREAM Act would do is give them the chance to "go through the process like everyone else", and give them a chance to get a job and/or get college education precisely so that they can become independent adults with no need for any sort of "special treatment" or "welfare".
It's long past time for these two measures to get done, and I'm glad to see Harry Reid working to get them done. Thank you, Harry Reid, for your courage and your resolve to get DADT repealed and get the DREAM Act passed! Thank you, Senator Reid. This is why I voted for you.