The Dream Act: Offering Hope for Immigration Students

dreamactThe Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) act is a proposal that was introduced in 2001 by Dick Durbin and Orrin Hatch that would benefit immigrant children living in the United States. This bill would allow them to receive permanent residency is they abide by a certain list of expectations. These include having good moral character, graduating from high school, and completing two years in either the military or at a university. By completing these, they would obtain a temporary residency for a six-year period, using this time they must continue to serve in the military or receive a degree from an accredited college in order obtain permanent residency.

Overall, this seems like a very good solution in regards to immigration and those children who are affected by it. However, not everyone feels that way and some live under false assumptions about what the DREAM act actually entails. Here, I will briefly debunk some of the myths about the DREAM Act that I discovered in an article by Catherine Poe.

Myth 1: Immigrants under the DREAM Act will take jobs away from American workers
-Actually, immigrant workers expand and enrich the economy because they are productive and tax paying individuals. There is no evidence that supports the claim that these immigrants take away jobs from American Citizens

Myth 2: The DREAM Act would attract more illegal immigrants
-The Dream Act only applies to young students who came to American as infants or young children, therefore it would not encourage others to come to the United States.

Myth 3: DREAM Act will weak the military with illegals
-The military may actually increase in strength with the recruit of new men and women, as the pool of applicants is expanded.

Myth 4: The DREAM Act is not affordable
-The DREAM act is actually cost effective, as it would increase the government revenues by $2.3 billion dollars over the next years, as well as cutting the deficit by $1.4 billion. The act requires that these immigrants becoming educated, therefore improving our country and economy as well.

In 2010, the DREAM act passed the house vote with a 216 vote “yes”, and a 198 vote “no”, with the majority of the no votes coming from republicans. Here is a link to see how each state voted:

However, the DREAM act failed to pass in the Senate.. but this has not stopped immigrant youth from fighing back. In fact, this time around the young immigrants are the rising force, and they seek legislation to give them a direct and permanent path to citizenship. This article talks in depth about what these young immigrants are doing in order to achieve citizenship, as well as the rising numbers that are coming forward from the shadows.

Personally, I think that the DREAM Act is a stepping stone in the right direction. I do not agree or believe that it is fair to deport these young people who were brought to the United States illegally by no fault of their own. These immigrants have been raised here the majority of their lives, and I do not think it is acceptable to take them out of the only place they have ever considered home. I believe that the DREAM Act could be altered in that it would not only give immigrants the options of joining the military or obtaining a bachelors degree; I think if they are working and being an effective, positive member to society that should deem them eligible for citizenship as well. What else could be altered or added in order to make the DREAM Act more beneficial for this population?


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