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DREAM Act Re-introduced on March 26th

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.

Advantages:

– 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.

Disadvantages:

– 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!

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  1. SK
    March 30th, 2009 at 14:47 | #1

    Another Disadvantage, according to Fox News, is that there will be transfer seats and tuition subsidies for illegal immigrants, which ordinarily would be no big deal. However, with the economy being so bad, it’s coming at a time that “state higher education budgets are being slashed, admissions curtailed, and tuition increased.” But who respects Fox News anyway? I, personally, I DEFINITELY in FAVOR of the DREAM Act. I hope it makes it through this time. No reason that the children should pay for what the parents did.

  2. AK1
    March 30th, 2009 at 18:55 | #2

    Very interesting article. . . Please keep up posted as to the progress of this Act. I would love to know more about it as time goes on.

  3. riz_md
    April 9th, 2009 at 14:54 | #3

    I am wondering that it would be necessary for these children to serve in a military for 2 years?

  4. Arshil
    April 9th, 2009 at 17:01 | #4

    @riz_md
    riz_md, Based on everything I’ve read (although I haven’t read the proposed statute itself), my understanding is that these persons to whom the Dream Act would apply would be able to qualify if they 1) spend 2 years in military service, OR 2) complete 2 years of college, OR 3) have 2 years of credit in a 4-year college program.

    As I understand it, if they have the proper amount of schooling, they can qualify and will not need the military service. But again, I have not read the proposed statute, itself, and it is entirely possible that the language could change during debates in Congress.

    So, please do not rely on my thoughts or construe what I am saying as legal advice.

  5. olive
    April 10th, 2009 at 14:10 | #5

    I want to support the dream act because there are so many children living here illegally due to the fact that their parents came here on holiday visas and overstayed. These kids were placed in NY public school and some private school, completed high school and are working off the books. Some of these very kids are fed up and frustrated because even if they are send back to their birth country, have no ties there and will be lost. So what if they havent gone to college, shouldnt they also get a chance?

  6. Dilse321
    April 29th, 2009 at 16:45 | #6

    In response to olive: I dont believe that the kids who are not attending college should get a chance at legalising their status, unless they can prove that they are financially stable and have excellent moral character.

    The mistake of the amnesty in 1986 was that it was given to everybody who applied and was not carefully monitored. I know people who obtained their “papers” by posing as agricultural workers even though they never set foot on a field. This example only proves that the goverment was lazy and took the easy way out when trying to get rid of the problem of illegal immigration. As a result, we had a bunch of people who really didnt deserve to be here taking adavantage of our goverment programs milking every possible benefit out of tax payers. What is worse, is that the problem wasnt solved and now it has doubled in size.

    In my opinion the goverment should legalize only those people who are deserving of the privilege. People who abide by the rules, and who can prove that they are here to work and raise their families in an honest way and by following the law. Perhaps most importantly, people who are here to improve their life not only economically, but socially as well. By this I mean people who take interest in adopting the american culture,learn our language and follow our laws without losing their identity.

    The majority of the people who come from latin american countries do not place a high value on the education of their children because they themselves are not educated. Perhaps knowing that attending college will give their children a chance to be legal, will push them to educate themselves and push their children harder to get educated.

  7. Britt
    September 3rd, 2009 at 18:00 | #7

    I feel that the DREAM act should be passed. It will be helping those who came here illegaly yes, but they did not knowingly do it. For some of these people their parents brought them here when they were too young to remember anything. They have lived here their whole lives not knowing anything about their “home” country and sending them back could be psychologically damaging to them. Besides it is not like we are saying here are your papers now go do whatever you want. We are making them work for it wheather it be through getting an education or serving our country they are working for it. And the act will not be helping those who are not an asset to our country or economy. If we help these people to get a higher education they will be able to spend more money and help our economy go up. Not only that but we will have more qualified and educated people in our workforce which is good for everybody.

  8. CeCe
    May 12th, 2010 at 16:38 | #9

    HELL NO. THIS ACT SHOULD NOT BE PASS MY PARENTS ARE LEGAL IMMIGRANTS WHO WAITED YEARS UPON YEARS TO GET THERE PAPER… THEREFORE IT SHOULD NOT CHANGE I DONT GIVE A RATS BEHIND IF YOU IN SCHOOL GOT A LAW DEGREE OR WHATEVER THATS YOU PROBLEM RULES ARE RULES…. THAT GOES FOR THE WHOLE PUNCH LATINO…AFRICAN…ASIAN…SWEEDEN…UK…. I DONT CARE….

  9. Dee
    July 22nd, 2011 at 04:48 | #10

    These non-citizens were brought here and kept here (while under the age of consent/accountability [18 years old]). The question is, do they have the right to enter the workforce? Should they be given the right to work and make a proper living? Most of these young people have been upstanding members of their communities and superb students who are graduating or have graduated with excellence and honors in their field of study. Should their dreams turn to dust because whoever brought them here didn’t bother to go through proper legalities? Why punish someone for a crime they didn’t commit, but rather victims of?

    A majority of these individuals have lived here their entire life and consider this country as their home. They consider themselves AMERICAN. They have little to no knowledge of their parent’s or relatives’ home country. So why would we not grant them limited access to the things that this country provides for a better living that most of its own citizens take for granted?
    They don’t realize that denying these undocumented students can result in an increase in crime. How? If you’re not able to work on-books (legally with a SSN#), you will work off-books earning money (TAX-FREE!). Earning money in this country that’s tax-free might land you in jail. Secondly, if these individuals cannot find a legitimate off-books job, they will find themselves involved in illegal activities just to make a living. Get the drift yet?
    I’ve heard people say that this would cause an increase in people jumping the border to come here. I say “No! It won’t”. Why not? If they put a limit on the act itself stating that the law covers children who came here within a specific time frame, anyone outside of that time frame would be considered ineligible. I do have to say that the one part of the act I do disagree with is giving these individuals amnesty during those six years. I don’t think it’s right. You do the crime, you do the time.

  10. cris
    December 8th, 2011 at 00:06 | #11

    you dont have to be selfish ! this people deserve a chance ! there is nothing wrong with a kid trying to have a better future in here ! @CeCe

  1. May 26th, 2009 at 05:42 | #1