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Opinion

Times praises students arrested in McCain office sit-in

The New York Times offered praise for the four immigrant students arrested in sit-in at Sen. John McCain's Tucson office Monday.

Under the headline "Courage in Arizona," the editorial compared the student's "simple acts of protest" to the lunch counter and bus protests of the '60s civil rights movement:

Four young immigrant students risked everything on Monday when they sat down in Senator John McCain’s office in Tucson and refused to leave. They were urging passage of the Dream Act, a bill offering a citizenship path to illegal immigrants who, like them, were brought to the United States as children, too young to have willfully broken the law.

...

Who else has shown such courage in the long struggle for immigration reform? Not Mr. McCain, who ditched his principled support of rational immigration legislation to better his odds in a close re-election campaign against a far-right-wing opponent. Not President Obama, who has retreated to lip service and vagueness in his calls for reform. Not his administration. The Justice Department has stood by as a civil-rights coalition — the American Civil Liberties Union, Maldef, the N.A.A.C.P., the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and others — has swiftly sued to block the Arizona law.

Other supposed defenders of immigrants, Democrats in Congress, have lost their voices. Senators Charles Schumer, Robert Menendez and Harry Reid, mindful of November elections and frustrated Latino voters, have unveiled a blueprint for immigration reform that parrots Republican talking points about clamping down the southern border and treating the undocumented as a swelling tide of criminals.

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