As undocumented students, or DREAMers, continue their ambitious operation to register and inform voters, some from across the country arrive in Charlotte to attend the Democratic National Convention. Throughout the year, immigration has arisen as a topic that has dominated the public spotlight. As a party, Republicans have talked about immigration in a way that has alienated Latinos of mixed status families, such as Herman Cain or Rep. King’s (R-IA) electrified fence, and passed anti-immigrant laws that have decimated entire industries, specially agriculture.
Republican nominee Mitt Romney has endorsed SB 1070 to become a model for the nation, put forth a “self-deportation” policy for undocumented honor roll students, and promised to veto the DREAM Act. Most recently, Republicans invited anti-immigrant hawks like Jan Brewer, Kris Kobach, and Sheriff Arpaio to the Republican National Convention in Tampa and as a party have adopted an all enforcement approach to immigration, including a national e-verify and “encouraging” SB1070 copy cat laws. These were the reasons undocumented youth in Florida organized and marched against the GOP anti-immigrant platform in Tampa.
DREAMers arrive in Charlotte to a more welcoming environment at the Democratic Convention. Democrats have been voicing their support for the immigrant and Latino communities. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has been the first lifeline thrown to Latino communities and families who have struggled with immigration status. This has been a step forward to mixed-status families. DREAMers from across the country applaud and support the President for his leadership.
Nevertheless, DREAMers will attend the Democratic Convention to remind the Democratic party and President Obama that bolder action is necessary. The Latino electorate and DREAMers will play a significant role come November and they will hold both parties accountable.