Note: As a reminder to PDXEAN readers, the current series of posts are written by students in Portland State University’s Enhancing Youth Literacy Capstone. Students are spending 25-30 hours volunteering their time with youth in the community, and we also meet once a week to discuss issues impacting educational equity today. Each post is completely student written and is made public to encourage discussion and continued learning. Please take time to read and respond to Alexis:
I have to say that this week in class was an interesting eye opener for me. This week we discussed education reform in class, especially amongst illegal aliens and whether we believe that it is beneficial to our country or not. Such discussions included the DREAM Act and the STARS and ARMS Acts, which were similar to the DREAM Act, which never really got implemented.
First off, I have to admit to everyone that I am a register Republican. I actually have very strong conservative views. Therefore, I am sure it is not a big surprise that I have always believed in stronger border security to prevent illegal aliens from crossing over. When including schools in the matter, I have always believed that race shouldn’t have anything to do with college applications and that many financial matters involving race are unfair as well because of the fact that they leave Caucasian people out of the loop. Unfortunately, many people think of Caucasian people as people with money, who don’t need help with school, but I can tell you from personal experience that that is further from the truth.
Because of these beliefs, when we started studying about the DREAM Act, I was against it right away. I knew a little about the matter, but I can be honest and say that there was a lot I didn’t know either. After learning more about the DREAM Act, that it is there to help children of illegals, who didn’t have any control over their parent’s actions, and that though it does give them financial help through school, it is a very strict program that doesn’t allow for a criminal record and they must attend school or join the military for two years before finishing, I can tell you that my opinion on the subject changed. This would be a good thing for our country, giving these students a chance at a good education and later a good career, which could increase our economy. We have to remember that this isn’t a chance at immunity, just a good education.
Now, don’t think that I’m not still a strong conservative, who is very into politics, but my opinion on this matter was changed, and we all need to remember that we can make a difference. Just because I am a Republican, doesn’t mean that I always believe in what my party does. And we can make a difference when sharing our views, opinions, and facts with others. We all make more of a difference than we realize, and though it may not always be apparent, I mean I probably wouldn’t have brought it up if it weren’t for this blog, we all are still making more of a difference than we realize, so don’t give up on what you believe, thinking it doesn’t matter, because it does.
Now there are really two subject matters I’m talking about. Do you also believe that we make a difference, in changing others’ opinions and just stating our own? And on the other subject, I know there are a lot of you out there that are against such act like the DREAM Act, and if you are one of those people, what would you consider doing instead of these acts, how would you solve the problem children of illegal aliens face when trying to attend a university, being forced to pay out of state tuition, even if you grew up in that state? Do you believe they have a right to attend school here, and to receive help?