Friday, May 17, 2013

It's Not Right... But It's OK.

Yesterday, we discussed the increasingly complicated and convoluted politics of comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) in Congress. Apparently, the House now has its own CIR deal floating around... And threatens to (further) undo the incredibly fragile Senate CIR deal. The CIR debate in Congress has been... Well, it's been awfully ridiculous lately.

Yet as that's been going down, many activists continue fighting for reform and to stop the deportations. And in fact, something quite amazing happened at The Center last night. DREAM Big Vegas, PLAN, and allies decided to help local DREAMers obtain DACA status. Oh, and they did so with a drag show!

Owly Images

Owly Images

Owly Images

There was plenty of fierce fashion, fabulous lip synchs, great original singing, and more. Oh, and DREAM Big raised enough money to fund two DACA applications! And during the intermission, the audience had a chance to listen to the stories of DREAMers who've only known life in America and just want a chance to succeed like the rest of us.

What made last night's event even more poignant was the demonstration of the intersection of Southern Nevada's Latin@ community and Southern Nevada's LGBTQ community. Believe it or not, both co-exist. Both cooperate. Oh yes, and many people are part of both communities!

This is actually another reason why 21st Century Know Nothing hopes of wedging the two communities against each other will ultimately prove to be futile. Especially as the plight of LGBTQ immigrants reaches the forefront, there's renewed purpose to make comprehensive immigration reform truly comprehensive. And besides, we know the 21st Century Know Nothings have never had the best interest of either community at heart anyway.

In fact, our long held suspicion was pretty much proven true last night. The Grio's Joy Reid broke the story of a Heritage letter (remember them?) circulating among Congressional Republicans and demanding that they essentially stop governing at all so they can circle the wagons around the latest haute faux scandals in hopes of weakening President Obama politically. Oh, yes. That's right. And many Republican Congresscritters already look to be taking their advice.

Clearly, they haven't met Raffi or Julius. Both have been living in this nation nearly their whole lives. Both have been educated in Southern Nevada schools. And both want to obtain the American Dream. Yet because their families came to America undocumented, they've had to live in fear and in constant limbo. Raffi now has DACA status. And while it's better than nothing, not even that is 100% guaranteed to prevent deportation. And they're being forced to raise money for DACA fees because Congress hasn't passed the DREAM Act.

Raffi & Julius and Ricardo & Blanca are among the many reasons why Congress should finally be moving on CIR. And so are undocumented workers who deserve freedom from exploitation. And so are LGBTQ families who deserve freedom from a life apart. These people are real people. They deserve better, and so do we.

Yet as usual, the 21st Century Know Nothings and the Republican Party that they have way too much power over can't get their act together. So they're ready to kill CIR and focus all their attention on bludgeoning President Obama with fictitious scandals. As Whitney would say, "It's not right, but it's OK."

Well, it's not all that OK. It's just that, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., would say, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." Something must change. Immigration reform must happen. And if Republicans don't join the solution, they'll soon understand firsthand why the 19th Century Know Nothings didn't last long.

It's not right, but it's OK. Got that, Senator Dean Heller (R-46%)?

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