The DREAM Act has been a topic of heated debates for years. The movie Immigration Battle (2015) focuses on the work on this Act and politicians’ attempts to make it a bill. Many people have fought for this initiative for many years because the existing laws do not solve the problems associated with immigration. Many Latino families are separated each year as some members of their family do not have the necessary documents to live in the USA legally. Moreover, thousands of young immigrant children receive education in this country but can often be easily deported. Many politicians and economists say that it is important to give all these people a chance to live in the country and use their full potential. These people can make the American economy stronger, but Republicans still do not give their votes. The Democrat politicians’ tactics have changed and became more traditional, but this change has not led to positive results.
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First, supporters of the enactment of the Act had quite a specific tactic. The majority of supporters were Democrats. They spoke to Latino immigrants and other ethnic groups. They also addressed their voters from the ethnic majority. They have held various rallies and marches to make people know about the issue. The major work was always associated with communication between people who shared quite similar views. There was no collaboration with opponents. There were also quite little real-life stories told during the discussion. Importantly, Democrats’ leadership seemed to have different views on the legislation. Some wanted legalization while others wanted citizenship for all. One of the reasons for the failures of the initiative is that some Democrats, including President Obama, insisted on citizenship. Republicans had the necessary ground to say that the Act cannot become a bill as Democrats wanted too much and did not know how to achieve their own goals (Immigration Battle). In the course of time, activists and politicians started changing their strategies and trying new methods.
Then, supporters of the changes in the immigration legislation have started using real people’s stories to make the issue more appealing. For instance, Luis Gutiérrez, the Democrat whose work is described in the movie, invites immigrants to make all Americans see that there are real people behind the discussion and the Act (Immigration Battle). They invite people (these are often children) who are brave to talk about their feelings and their fears. Gutiérrez speaks Spanish during his speeches to make Latino people listen to him and keep fighting. The Democrat stresses that people are tired of the situation. They think that nothing will change and stop fighting. However, it is important to continue the struggle as the tension in American society may grow and lead to some very negative events (Immigration Battle). However, the involvement of the Latino population is only a part of Democrats’ tactics.
Another feature of the new strategy is the collaboration with Republicans. Democrats understand that the Republican party now holds the majority in the US Congress. It is clear that the initiative will never become a bill without Republicans’ votes. So, such active Democrats as Gutiérrez tries to persuade some Republicans to take part in the movement that can bring the action to life. Supporters of the bill also work in partnership with researchers, economists, politicians, lawyers, and other professionals to make the reform effective. All these efforts are still ineffective. Even if the benefits of the initiative are obvious, many people (mainly Republicans) have some political reasons to be against the legalization of immigrants.
One of the major reasons for these failures is Republicans’ attitude towards Democrats. It is stressed that Republicans are still dissatisfied with Obama’s presidency (Immigration Battle). They were shocked when Obama became the US president. They did not want to support any of his initiatives. It is noted that even if reforms were effective and necessary, Republicans did not give their votes if Obama was the author of these Acts and initiatives (Immigration Battle). However, soon Republicans understood that the immigrant population was becoming an important part of US society. Millions of former immigrants started voting, so the Republican party began paying attention to this growing group of voters. At present, both parties try to address some needs of Latino people, but these attempts still have little to do with the issues associated with immigration.
In conclusion, it is necessary to note that the film Immigration Battle shows the struggle of some people to make American society truly Democratic and just. Such people as Gutiérrez do a lot to achieve this goal. They encourage people to continue their fight. They collaborate with their opponents as they understand that society needs changes. Democrats bring out real-life stories to show that the problem is burning. However, these efforts are not effective enough. The immigration legislation is still inadequate, and many people suffer from it. Moreover, the whole country can suffer from the situation in the near future as immigrants cannot use their full potential to make the country better and stronger.
Immigration Battle. Directed by Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini, Frontline, 2015.