Thursday, May 20, 2010

NYT Weighs in on Undocumented Students Arrested at McCain's Tucson Office

Posted By on Thu, May 20, 2010 at 8:58 AM

From today's New York Times editorial page:

Four young immigrant students risked everything on Monday when they sat down in Senator John McCain’s office in Tucson and refused to leave. They were urging passage of the Dream Act, a bill offering a citizenship path to illegal immigrants who, like them, were brought to the United States as children, too young to have willfully broken the law.

For the undocumented, any encounter with law enforcement is perilous — especially in Arizona, where a new law pushes the hunt for illegal immigrants beyond the limits of reason, proportion and the Constitution.

Three of the student protesters were arrested for misdemeanor trespassing. Though later freed, they faced the risk of prison and deportation to press for a bill.

Who else has shown such courage in the long struggle for immigration reform? Not Mr. McCain, who ditched his principled support of rational immigration legislation to better his odds in a close re-election campaign against a far-right-wing opponent. Not President Obama, who has retreated to lip service and vagueness in his calls for reform. Not his administration. The Justice Department has stood by as a civil-rights coalition — the American Civil Liberties Union, Maldef, the N.A.A.C.P., the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and others — has swiftly sued to block the Arizona law.

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