Editor's note: Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a CNN.com contributor and a nationally syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group.
By Ruben Navarrette Jr., CNN Contributor
San Diego, California (CNN) - In Washington, a lot of the meetings that take place between lawmakers amount to nothing. But recently, there was a get-together that was really something.
The participants: Reps. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, and Charles Gonzales, D-Texas, along with Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, and Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey.
The problem: What this country should do with so-called DREAM'ers, undocumented young people who were brought here by their parents as children and who face the threat of deportation.
One proposed solution that didn't go anywhere was the DREAM Act, a bill that politicians passed around like a hot potato for more than a decade. It would offer legal status and a pathway to citizenship to anyone who goes to college or joins the military.
The good news is that there was bipartisan support; the last time it was put to a vote, in December 2010, a slew of Senate Democrats voted for it, but so did three Senate Republicans - Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Richard Lugar of Indiana and Bob Bennett of Utah. The bad news is that there is bipartisan opposition; a slew of Republicans opposed the legislation, but so did five Senate Democrats - Jon Tester and Max Baucus of Montana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.
Clearly we need a new approach. Enter Rubio.
Read Ruben Navarrette Jr.'s full column
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By Stephanie Siek, CNN
(CNN) – Most people have two legs. Aimee Mullins has 28.
Mullins' 14 pairs of prosthetic legs are more than medical devices. They are wearable sculpture, secret weapons and a passport to embrace and show off the thing that makes her superficially different – the fact that she has no flesh-and-blood legs below the knee.
As a Georgetown student, Mullins was the first amputee to compete in NCAA Division I track events. She broke world records in three track and field events during the 1996 Paralympics, walked the runway for Alexander McQueen and starred in avant-garde movie “Cremaster 3.”
But she’s also at the forefront of a movement that redefines what a replacement limb can be – not a replacement for something lost, but a supplement, an enhancement. The custom-designed legs with which she broke records are modeled on the hind legs of a cheetah, and look nothing like human legs. The ones she wore on the runway are intricately carved wood. In the film, one pair was made to look as if it was made of freshly tilled earth.
“Hopefully for so many more people now, they’re getting to the heart of the journey to celebrate their body, and choosing their own identity,” Mullins said. “They don’t have to stay in that place of doubt and uncertainty and feeling like they’re ‘less than.’”
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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