Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Henry Cuellar's (Dream) Act

Eric Balderas excelled in school in San Antonio, enough so that he was awarded a scholarship to Harvard.  He had already completed one year at the Ivy League institution and was preparing to return to spend the summer doing molecular biology research.  That's when immigration officials stepped in and detained him at the airport in San Antonio.  Eric, as it turns out, was brought to the states from Mexico at the age of 4.  The possibility of him being sent back to Mexico exists.

This is where the DREAM Act comes in.  It was introduced in Congress in 2001 but only recently has gained traction.  It would give students like Eric a chance to apply for temporary residence.  He could continue with his education but would face limitations in his financial aid eligibility.

Activists were going to protest outside Henry Cuellar's San Antonio office tomorrow to urge him to support the DREAM Act.  That is until things changed.
Cuellar, as it turns out, is a co-sponsor, though not yet listed as such, says spokeswoman Ashley Patterson.  He signed on last week.
Better late than never, I guess.  His San Antonio constituents are instead going to gather outside his office to show their appreciation.

Cuellar, according to Patterson, wanted to support complete immigration reform and not a stand-alone bill.  Why he didn't come out in support of it last year (non-election year) is beyond me.  Did he really need the input from his constituency?  After all, he is the son of migrant workers and is a well-educated individual.  You'd think he would jump at the chance to support this from the beginning.  Again, his motivation remains in question. 

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