Discussing the Dream Act heading into the lame duck congressional session.

There was a meeting for the Dream Act and supporters Sunday evening at St. Mark’s Methodist Church in Overland Park. I photographed a couple Dream Act rallies on the Plaza this past summer and have kept in touch with a few of the activists via Facebook. The Dream Act is legislation to provide a path to documented citizenship for children brought to this country under the age of fifteen, and who commit to two years of college work or enlist in the military.

Right now with the lame duck congressional session, Senator Harry Reid in Nevada has defeated his opponent Sharron Angle, and has also made prior statements supporting the Dream Act legislation.

The Dream Act was drafted because there is now a whole demographic in America that is culturally American but legally not. In my own opinion passing the Dream Act would be a positive, pragmatic step in immigration reform, and they always say how pragmatism was an American invention. Problem is though everything seems based on demagoguery these days, so we’ll see.

On Tuesday evening (07/13/10) out in south Overland Park, Kris Kobach, the UMKC law professor who helped draft Arizona SB 1070 appeared for a speaking engagement with Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaiobefore a supportive crowd. On the sidewalk out front, a large counter-demonstration was held in opposition to the Arizona law and the impetus to enact similar laws in Missouri, Kansas, and other states. There were some familiar faces as I photo-documented the counter-protest, as the KS/MO Dream Alliance helped organize the demonstration. I have met with them on the Plaza in KCMO two or three times in the past for photography of their demonstrations in favor of the Dream Act – which will help ensure a path to citizenship for the now-adult children of undocumented residents who find themselves also technically ”undocumented” despite having lived their childhood and formative years as Americans, geographically and culturally. It was unfortunate that later on in the evening, after I had left, there turned out to be a bomb scare, though luckily it was just an unattended briefcase. Below are several photos from the demonstration in front of the Ritz Charles meeting facility in Overland Park, Kansas where the Kobach/Arpaio event took place.