Close to two hundred people showed up outside La Placita Church near Olvera Street, some wearing caps and gowns, many holding votives and picket signs. Clergy leaders that included Cardinal Roger Mahony, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles, led participants in prayer.
"We are walking with you, and we will be with you until this is accomplished," Mahony told the crowd.
It may take a while. A vote on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would grant conditional legal status to undocumented youths who attend college or join the military, could take place in both the Senate and the House as early as tomorrow. However, chances appears slim for the proposed legislation. This is particularly true in the Senate, where it has failed to win the necessary Republican support to pass, even after a tightened version of the bill was introduced last week.
Robert Huffstutter/Flickr (Creative Commons)
Different estimates have been floated around in recent weeks as to what the DREAM Act represents in dollars and cents: How much money it may cost, and how much money it may generate.
Late last week, the Congressional Budget Office scored the most recent version of the bill, which would allow qualifying undocumented youths who arrived here under age 16 to obtain conditional legal status - and eventually permanent legal status - if they attend college or enlist in the military.
The CBO report concluded that over the next 10 years, as the DREAM Act increases the number of authorized workers in the country, revenues would increase by $2.3 billion and the national deficit would decrease by $1.4 billion. However, as conditional legal status gives way to permanent legal status for beneficiaries, they would qualify like other legal residents and U.S. citizens for government programs, including federal health insurance exchanges, adding to the deficit in the long run.
Reid files cloture as House, Senate poised to vote on DREAM Act - The Hill Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture last night on the DREAM Act, setting up an upper-chamber vote for as early as Wednesday morning. House Democrats might vote on the measure earlier the same day.
GOP rises, DREAM Act falters - Scott Wong - Politico How Republican lawmakers facing far-right pressure have shied away from the legislation, diminishing its chances of passage.
First Read - In third conference call in a week, WH pushes DREAM Act - NBC News White House officials had their third conference call in less than a week to push for passage of the DREAM Act, arguing that it would aid the military. The bill would grant conditional legal status for undocumented youths who go to college or join the military.
Art by Gajin Fujita, courtesy of LACMA
In late September, I wrote about an unusual songwriting contest for the "The Corrido of L.A."
The contest, put together by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the University of Southern California, encouraged 7th through 12th-grade students from throughout the city to write and submit songs in the traditional Mexican narrative ballad style that best captured the essence of Los Angeles, in any language. Contest judges would include the band Ozomatli, which was to perform the top ten entries in a concert this month.
The deadline for submissions was in mid-November, and since then, KCET's website has provided a sneak peek at one of the songs submitted. The station's Departures hyper-local project recently posted audio and video from a group of students at the Los Angeles Leadership Academy who, calling themselves Los Geekz, have produced a haunting, stylized rap about urban life in "the sickest part of Cali," as they put it. The group calls the piece "Change is Coming," and while it sounds nothing like traditional corrido, no matter.
Over the weekend Bloggingheads.tv posted an interesting back-and-forth on the DREAM Act between Josh Bernstein, immigration policy director for the Service Employees International Union, which supports the bill, and Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C. organization that advocates immigration restrictions.
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act would provide conditional legal status for undocumented young people who attend college or join the military. To qualify, they must have arrived in the United States before age 16 and be of "good moral character," among other things.
In the split-screen debate, the pair discusses the rationale for the proposed age limit (Krikorian would like to see it lowered), whether or not legalizing young people brought here illegally as minors encourages further illegal immigration, and what the bill's chances are of passing during the lame-duck session.