Don't let the dream die for 1.8 million kids
The DREAM Act did not pass with the defense bill, but we must not give up on it as a stand-alone bill.
It addresses the largely ignored plight of nearly 1.8 million undocumented children, also known as the "1.5 generation," growing up without hope to realize their dreams of higher education and a future vocation.
This vulnerable population straddles two worlds with little hope in either.
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I listened to many of these students as an anthropologist and a friend. It was not their choice to come to this country, and now they find themselves with few legal rights.
Izabella was brought to the United States from Argentina by her parents years ago. She says, "For me, I grew up there until I was 9, but my whole personality, my whole self has grown up here. I've become what I am here. So I cannot deny that part of my life, and after high school just erase that."
She is a senior at a private high school where she ranks at the top in her class. Her mother, who was a nurse and elementary school teacher in Argentina, has worked the last nine years as a housekeeper.
Izabella aspires to be a doctor but now faces the prospects of deportation to a country she barely knows or working a minimum wage job similar to her mother's. She says "the DREAM Act would make me feel like I was accepted somewhere, that I belong somewhere, that I have a future somewhere."
Is DREAM affordable?
My concern with the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors or DREAM Act is how it would affect the state and federal aid that many college students depend on.
There is already a limited number of grants and loans to be dispersed, and the passing of this act would make an unknown number of undocumented immigrants eligible for federal financial aid.
There would be an increase in demand for the aid, but would there be an increase of funds?
With no increase in funds, every undocumented student receiving aid would mean a documented student would not receive aid.
If there is an increase in funds, where would it come from? There has already been a tuition hike across state universities, making it more difficult for those middle-class students who don't qualify for aid to go to school. In many Eastern Kentucky counties, only a small percentage of the population has a college education, while the majority of the population is at or below the poverty line. Limiting federal or state financial aid would contribute to the poverty in Eastern Kentucky.
I understand the concern that qualified students might not be given the opportunity to go to college, but I feel this act would inadvertently limit the opportunities of Kentucky students, both documented and undocumented, to go to school.
A lovely drive
See the Bluegrass through the eyes of a visitor. While driving on a road I frequently travel, I noticed a new Bluegrass driving tour sign, so I decided to follow it instead of my usual route.
As I was driving, I imagined I was visiting for the first time. As I did, I saw the area in a different way. I was able to look past the traffic and all of the distractions to see manicured pastures and barns fit for royalty, Thoroughbreds grazing and miles of freshly painted plank fencing.
I think in our busy lives we speed by all of this so fast we forget it's there.
So next time you see one of those signs, follow it, pretend you're visiting for the first time and appreciate all the beauty the Bluegrass has to offer.
Slur not a license
In the coverage of Daniel Covington's assault on Isiah Howes, an Associated Press article stated that the police and a private organization are investigating whether a racial slur preceded the shooting.
The news coverage so far has failed to establish the legal point that uttering a racial slur is not illegal. Also, the target of a racial slur may not use that communication as a justification for assault, homicide or murder.
It can be considered as a mitigating factor in sentencing, but the newspapers and the Louisville police have suggested there is a specific legal reason for investigating whether a racial slur preceded Covington's attack on Howes, who reportedly then shot and killed Covington in self-defense.
In Kentucky, in almost every circumstance outside of employment or housing, it is legal to utter a racial slur. Likewise, the use of a racial slur provides no legal justification for retaliation.
Readers should note that this case is commonly referenced by the media as the "Covington shooting" and not "Covington's assault on Howes." Obviously, the media believes that racial provocations are adequate justifications for assault.
Chandler on attack
Ben Chandler's ads attacking Andy Barr's character and integrity speak volumes about the endorser. The first two ads were lies about Barr's policy positions; the latest is a false attempt to tie Barr to the investigation of Fletcher administration wrongdoing.
The truth of the matter is Barr was not investigated in the administration and was never accused of wrongdoing. The Herald-Leader wrote: "In the Fletcher administration, Barr was one of the voices who counseled against politicizing merit system jobs. Had his advice been heeded, the hiring scandal that ultimately proved to be Fletcher's political undoing might have been avoided."
Barr discharged his duties with integrity, professionalism and in accordance with the law.
Everyone who knows Barr uses the word "integrity" to describe him. Integrity requires truth, engenders trust, supports authenticity and makes values and principles clear. It is the matching of word to action and creating clear direction.
Amy Hillenmeyer Kessinger
Vote not for sale
Kentuckians, beware of outside influence in the November elections. One ad against Jack Conway is paid for by Karl Rove's political action committee. Given that Rove was George W. Bush's top adviser and that the Bush administration was not particularly fruitful for most Kentuckians, our state cannot afford to take Rove's advice about choosing our next U.S. senator.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has another anti-Conway ad that questions Conway's service to Kentucky.
It's not unexpected that these political action committees attack Conway without asserting the experience and service of the Republican candidate Rand Paul. That's because Rand Paul has no record of public service to Kentucky.
Unlike these ads, Conway's own ads feature the supportive views of Kentucky veterans and law enforcement officers rather than impersonal political committees who can't vote here.
Show outside interest groups that Kentucky elections can't be bought.