Tri-State reactions to Dream Act revival

As legislators work to revive the Dream Act on Capitol Hill, key players in the immigration debate in the Tri-State are sounding off about the controversial legislation.

"Basically this is a re-hash of politics at it's worst," Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said of the Act.

Sheriff Jones has become known for his strong stance on illegal immigration.

"It's tough right now," Jones said of the economy. "Go back to the country where you came [from] and get a student Visa if you want to go to college and earn your citizenship the correct way."

When it comes to the Dream Act there is no gray area for Jones.

"All it does is reward those with bad behavior that come here," he argued.

Jones calls the act a political ploy by the President to fire up his base.

"It's not a good compromise, it encourages people to come here illegally and bring their kids," Jones argued.

For many of those kids, however, the issue is not so black and white.

Like for Bernard Pastor, for example, the Reading teen and soon to be Xavier freshman who faced deportation when he failed to show a license at a traffic accident. Pastor has been in the United States since he was three when his family entered illegally.

"People look at me and say 'Oh, because you're a Hispanic you support all illegal immigrants coming into this country.' That false," Pastor said. "I've grown up with American views. I've grown up with what everyone else thinks."

"He needs to go back to the country where his parents are from and he needs to come back and legally and or apply for a student visa and do it the right way," Jones said.

"You can't blame us for our parents' faults, or the decision that someone else made just because we're influenced by it," argued Pastor. He says at a minimum it could take years to return to the United States, if it were even possible.

Pastor says he knows very little about his home country, which would make it very difficult to go back.

"I probably wouldn't be able to manage one year over there, I know absolutely nothing about it," he explained.

For Pastor, the Dream Act is only a piece of the answer to the immigration debate, a step in the right direction.

"I don't necessarily believe everyone should come in, Pastor said. "I believe comprehensive reform needs to happen. I don't know how and of course, I don't have the power to do it."

"It's up to our government to fix this. It's out of control," Jones said. "All the parties won't fix it. They keep kicking the can down the road and they need to sit down, come to the table and get his fixed."

When asked about the timing of the revival of the Act many question if this time the Dream will be realized.

"It was introduced once before and it failed, it will fail this time," Jones said.

"I don't know that it's the right time, but as a Dreamer I hope that it is," Pastor said, noting he had not expected the legislation to be back on the table until 2012.

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