Teacher and coach Bryan Marvis from Oceanside Oregon writes this letter to elected officials opposing the DREAM Act. Enjoy.
Dear Name of Senator or Congressperson:
You are on record as being opposed to the Dream Act, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Richard Durbin (D-IL).
No matter what your position is on the issue of Immigration Reform, this is a bill that deserves the support of every American.
In Leviticus 19:33 (New International Version), we find this pertinent passage: “When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native born. Love him as yourself.”
In Matthew 6:14 (King James Bible), Jesus states: “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
Any reasonable person believes that the innocent should never be punished for the actions of others. Over 700,000 young people who were brought to this country—not of their own volition, but by their parents—await you and others in Congress doing the right thing. Even if you regard these innocent young people as “aliens” or “trespassers,” a basic sense of right or wrong (not to mention Scripture) is all that is needed to know that they should be treated “as one of [our] native born.” But I can attest to still more reasons.
As a teacher and coach with over thirty years of experience, I was a daily witness to the exceptional character, work ethic, and achievement of these young people who have been consigned to a sort of citizenship “limbo.” For decades, my colleagues and I marveled at the supportive and loving families of these young people, the dedication these students showed both in and outside the classroom, and their extraordinary courtesy as compared to most teenagers—particularly those for whom being an “automatic” citizen of this great country is something often taken for granted.
I watched these students become valedictorians, champions of speech and debate, captains of sports teams, and recipients of innumerable honors and awards—though many lost out on scholarship opportunities because they were not technically U.S. citizens. Most of these young people remain both sad and baffled by their situation; they have little or no recollection of their birth country, and consider themselves Americans, first and foremost. And this country needs these young people, perhaps now more than ever.
If I introduced you to many of the kids I taught and coached, you would walk away knowing that the Dream Act must be passed, and soon. You would meet future engineers, doctors, lawyers, and yes, even a few future politicians—the sort of people we need to insure that this country solves problems, continues to grow, and remains a beacon for people across the world. You would meet the sort of people you don’t want to lose—ever. You would meet the sort of young people you would be proud to have as a friend, or, even better, as a member of your family. And that, really, is what they are: a member of that fascinating family known as “Americans.”
With speedy passage of the Dream Act, you have a golden opportunity to earn the gratitude of these students, their families, and those of us who have had the great good fortune to work with them.
As evidenced by the bill’s bipartisan sponsors, this goes behind party politics.
We implore you to stand up for what’s right, regardless of your party affiliation, or how you think this stance might affect your chances for re-election, or how the media might regard your position.
Doing what’s right always has a place in the hearts and minds of Americans.
So here’s your chance: Passing the Dream Act means you can help over 700,000 young people and, in the end, help the United States of America become a much better place to live for all. That’s a good deal for every American citizen.
We look forward to your response.
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