You are here

Youth & Education

Education Logo

Revised: Stop the Militarization of the DREAM Act!

\r\n

    \r\n
  • Comite Anti-Militarizacion (CAMI) supports higher education for all students both documented and undocumented; however, we denounce the military component of the DREAM ACT. Unfortunately, this deadly component is strategically excluded from the debate by many Democrats and organizations who support the DREAM ACT.
  • \r\n

  • Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act
  • \r\n

\r\n

 

\r\n

Comite Anti-Militarizacion (CAMI), in Change.org

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle
\r\n

\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n

\r\n

\r\n

\r\n

"Yo Soy El Army: America's New Military Caste" from Producciones Cimarrón on Vimeo.

\r\n

\r\n

The Dream Act is a proposed piece of legislation that on the surface looks like an educational bill for the legalization of undocumented youth, but is actually a recruitment tool to fill the ranks of the military with this same youth. The Dream Act says that if a young person graduates from a U.S. high school, then s/he can get on a path towards some type of legalization if: s/he completes at least 2 years of college towards a degree or does 2 years of military service. (In reality military contracts are 8 years.)

If you believe that the DREAM Act is flawed because the only two options are college or the military. If you want to see the military option removed from the DREAM Act, please sign our petition.

Let's analyze the reality. The overwhelming majority of undocumented people, approximately 70 %, are Latinos. Out of approximately 12 million undocumented people in the U.S., over 7 million are Mexican and over 1 million are Central American. The sad reality is that only about ¼ of Latino/as have ever attended college and only 11% of Latinos/as have a college degree. These are statistics for Latino/a population not considering immigration status. La Raza Educators has provided more specific statistics that suggests that only 1 out of 20 undocumented high school seniors attend college. Since two years of college is needed to fulfill the educational part of the Dream Act, it is likely that an overwhelming majority of undocumented youth will be pushed into the military in order to get a conditional green card. There is a long list of inequalities that make hard for immigrant youth to go to college. This bill does not address these inequalities or the educational needs of undocumented youth but it addresses the needs of the U.S. military, filling their ranks. The heavy militarization aspect of the Dream Act became clear when two important parts of the DREAM Act were removed. In an old version of the Dream Act, 910 hours of community service was one of the options to fulfill the requirement for “legalization”. This option was taken away, as was the right to pay in-state tuition. Because these two options are gone, more youth will see the military as their only option.

This is exactly what the government is interested in.  Senator Dick Durbin, sponsor of the DREAM Act, has said: “The DREAM Act would address a very serious recruitment crisis that faces our military. Under the DREAM Act, tens of thousands of well-qualified potential recruits would become eligible for military service for the first time.”  The military needs more recruits.  The politicians’ solution is to draft the undocumented. We cannot be willing to sacrifice the lives of so many youth for the benefit of so few. We should not support legislation that facilitates the recruitment of youth to go off to war.

Comite Anti-Militarizacion (CAMI) supports higher education for all students both documented and undocumented, however, we denounce the military component of the DREAM ACT. Unfortunately, this deadly component is strategically excluded from the debate by many Democrats and organizations who support the DREAM ACT.

In essence, the DREAM ACT will create a defacto military draft for our undocumented youth. We say defacto because although students are given a “choice”, the fact is that the deplorable and inadequate conditions of Latino schooling will make military enlistment the only “choice” for the overwhelming majority of our undocumented youth. At the present time, it is against the law to recruit undocumented youth into the US military, but with the passage of the DREAM ACT, the recruiters will then be legally able to recruit our youth.

If you believe that the DREAM Act is flawed because the only two options are college or the military. If you want to see the military option removed from the DREAM Act, please sign our petition.

Historically racism and discrimination at home and in the military have adversely affected Latino youth who enter the military. During the Vietnam War, Chicano and other Latino youth were sent to the frontlines in disproportionate numbers. While Chicanos and Latinos were only 4.5 percent of the U.S. population, they were 19 percent of the casualties, some 80,000 Latinos served during the Vietnam War. With this reality, we pose the question: where will those students end up? Dead on the battlefield in Iraq or Afghanistan? Will they join the 6,000 troops currently occupying the U.S./Mexico border? As the US continues to invade and/or intervene in other countries, will our youth be forced to kill other poor people in places like Venezuela, Columbia, Iran and Cuba?

We in CAMI do not wish to antagonize or minimize the efforts of the honest Youth and others who advocate for the Dream Act on behalf of undocumented students. We wish to challenge all organizations that support the DREAM ACT to join us in the struggle for the legalization of all students and our entire community. We are all brothers and sisters in this struggle, but we must never negotiate the future of our youth in exchange for the legalization of a few of our students.

We believe that our students and community deserve full and immediate legalization without having to serve in the military.

If you believe that the DREAM Act is flawed because the only two options are college or the military. If you want to see the military option removed from the DREAM Act, please sign our petition.

\r\n

Related:

Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, The Progress Report, Think Progress
The DREAM Act was specifically cited in the Department of Defense's FY2010-12 Strategic Plan<> to help the military "shape and maintain a mission-ready All Volunteer Force."
Stop the Militarization of the DREAM Act!
US eyes more troops for Afghanistan

Section(s): 

Anti-gay group organizes in Anoka-Hennepin (MN) schools as community deals with gay suicides

“Well, news flash: There are homosexual people all over the world. Having your kid meet a homosexual in school and possibly even having a nice conversation with one isn’t going to turn your kid into one.” --Tammy Aaberg

\r\n

Andy Birkey, Minnesota Independent

\r\n

\r\n

Protests over alleged harassment last year. Photo: Andy Birkey, Minnesota Independent

\r\n

The woman sobbed as she told her son’s story to the Anoka-Hennepin School Board on Monday (August 23). “Hi, I’m Tammy Aaberg, the mother of Justin Aaberg, who was a gay student at Anoka High School who committed suicide July 9th of this year.” The school district has become ground zero in the battle between those who want safe spaces for LGBT students and those who want any mention of homosexuality banned from high school campuses.

\r\n

According to LGBT advocates, Justin’s death is one of three suicides by gay students in the last year, and while the district says it takes bullying seriously and has beefed up discipline against harassment, it has spurned invitations by LGBT groups to do anti-bullying education. To make matters more complicated, a group of parents opposed to homosexuality has formed to put pressure on the board not to bow to LGBT interests.

\r\n

The district — the state’s largest, with around 40,000 students — made headlines last year when the Minnesota Department of Human Rights alleged that two teachers conspired to harass a student, Alex Merritt, who they thought was gay. The news led to protests at school board meetings urging the district to adopt stronger anti-bullying policies and offers by LGBT groups to provide education. The school board rebuffed those efforts.

\r\n

More...

\r\n

Related:

\r\n

Suburban school district gets earful over anti-gay harassment, Andy Birkey, Minnesota Independent
Students, teachers and concerned residents of the Anoka-Hennepin School District crowded into the district’s board meeting on Monday evening to vent their concerns after learning that the district paid out $25,000 to a student who says he was continually harassed by two district teachers because they thought he was gay.

Section(s): 

Less college? First, define your terms

A more educated workforce is a must, but schooling can take various forms.

\r\n

Jennifer Godinez and Matt Kane, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

\r\n

In "Maybe fewer people should go to college'' (Aug. 15), Mitch Pearlstein laid out some key challenges in higher education, especially the problems with soaring college costs and debt, and the inordinate time many students are taking to acquire a four-year degree nowadays.
And it was courageous of Pearlstein to suggest that some current university students from affluent families might not really be motivated or qualified for the demands of traditional four-year colleges.

\r\n

Unfortunately, the headline may have implied to many readers that fewer students overall should obtain some form of post-secondary education. That would be about as wrong a signal as one can send on this subject. And it's especially discouraging to the aspirations of our students of color, who need to dramatically improve their higher-education completion rates.

\r\n

More...

\r\n

Related:

Maybe fewer people should go to college, Mitch Pearlstein, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN
Maybe they'd be happier learning a trade. ... Or maybe nothing will change.

Section(s): 

Schooling Scholars on Classroom Success

Teachers are workers who, like the rest of us, need and deserve better working conditions and better pay. What’s good for teachers is good for the rest of us.

Moshe Adler, TruthDig

Beverly Wilson leads her kindergarten class through a song at Lakewood Elementary School in St. Albans, W. Va., in September 2007 AP / Jeff Gentner

\r\n

These days everyone seems to think teachers need improving—even people who uncover evidence to the contrary. A group of economists from Berkeley, Harvard and Northwestern recently made headlines when they published a study that was ostensibly about the relationship between teacher quality and student success as adults. The economists made three observations. The first is that when children are assigned to kindergarten classes randomly, test scores in some classes are higher than in others. The authors argue that these differences must be due to differences in teacher performance (as well as peer effects). The second observation is that children who attend high-score kindergarten classes earn more money in their adult life. Based on these two observations, the economists conclude that we should invest in raising the quality of teachers, and The New York Times goes a step further and argues that teachersshould be paid according to their performance.

\r\n

However, the economists also made a third observation that they dismissed as having no bearing on their conclusions: Children who attend high-score classes in kindergarten perform only negligibly better on standardized tests than other students in later years. Why? The authors claim this finding isn’t important. As Raj Chetty of Harvard, one of the economists who produced the study, told the New York Times, “We don’t really care about test scores. We care about adult outcomes.”

More...

Section(s): 

Pages