The DREAM Act is The “Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act.” This Act was proposed before, but never passed. In fact, in 2007, a filibuster in the Senate held back the Act from going through. However, on March 26th, 2009, it was proposed once again.
The DREAM Act is for certain immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally while they were children, but graduated high school, lived in the US for 5 continuous years, and are of good moral character. The Act sets out to provide these immigrants with an opportunity for temporary residency, which would later qualify them for permanent residency. Specifically, the Act requires that the immigrant spend 2 years in military service, complete 2 years of college, or have 2 years of credit in a 4-year college program, all within a 6-year period of time.
Conservatives refer to the Act as another avenue for “amnesty” while Liberals claim that the U.S. should welcome all immigrants, especially those who have adapted to American life. But a real analysis of the advantages and disadvantages might provide some insight as to why this Act keeps getting stalled.
- By forcing these immigrants back to their home countries, the U.S. could experience a “brain drain.” In effect, the U.S. would educate several immigrants and then force them out of the country. It would be more prudent to utilize the talent the U.S. educates.
- Extending good will to a populace brings positive returns and vice versa. In other words, the DREAM Act seeks to solve the problem of several illegal immigrants being in the U.S. because their parents made certain choices when the immigrant child herself was too young. Now, the immigrant child has grown up in American culture, getting an American education, learning an American language. But when the effectively American person applies for a job, she is ineligible for employment. This could embitter a population. Instead, the U.S. may find it more advantageous to extend good will in exchange for loyalty and nationalism.
- It encourages immigrants to acquire higher education.
- There is some component of truth to what the Conservatives argue in that those immigrants who would qualify would be getting somewhat of a “free ride.” Granted, many of them might’ve gone through quite a bit in the hope of becoming legal before the DREAM Act passed (if such were the case), but in effect, they would have been able to get away with illegal immigration.
- It may encourage future illegal immigrants who hope that eventually lawmakers will pass another law of the same sort in the future.
So, what are your thoughts — in favor of the DREAM Act, or opposed? Why? Post your thoughts below! And don’t forget to keep posting on April 2009 Visa Bulletin as well!