Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Dream Act and Immigration Solutions

The Dream Act was supposed to offer a way for children of illegal immigrants (who entered the U.S. before the age of 16) to become legal. They would have to have an "unblemished record" and could obtain conditional legal status for 6 years. During that 6 year period, they would have to spend at least 2 years in college or in the military. Only then could they qualify to become legal permanent residents.
The bill was defeated in Congress.

Would this proposed act provide a "special path to citizenship that is unavailable to other prospective immigrants -- including young people whose parents respected the nation's immigration laws"?


terissa said...

I'm going to try and post with a proper reflection of my knowledge about the Dream Act - which is rather limited. But to my understanding, the Dream Act doesn't hand out citizenship to children of illegal immigrants - rather, it evens the playing field and provides the opportunity for children to aspire to and obtain higher education and eventual citizenship. It was my impression that the major issue being contested by this piece of legislation was allowing the children of illegal immigrants the opportunity to go to college. Denying them the right to higher education because of a decision their parents made to remain illegal within the United States is, to me, the same as denying the children of convicted felons the right to vote (this isn't true, just my attempt at paralleling injustice).

This kind of touches on the point made in class the other day - people do not choose their country of origin. The children of illegal immigrants did not, necessarily, choose to enter into the country illegally or remain here as such. Allowing them an avenue to obtain citizenship or, at the least, a college education, is, in my opinion, not too much to ask for.

Lusmaia212 said...

I definitely agree with Terissa, there is an extensive process for the child to actually become a citizen. If anything giving these children the opportunity to a higher education will hinder them derail to the streets like many struggling kids do.
Recently, I read an article in which highlighted how first generation Americans are more likely to succeed in higher education than second and third generations. Given the amount of adveristy they surpassed any slight of opportunity will be taken with great appreciation, and dedication.

ERose said...

The Dream Act is rather nice in theory, but it is very unfair to the other immigrants that come to this nation. By making the rules so that the child must be younger than 16 is highly discriminatory to other immigrants who come to the US after they are 16. Allowing these children to obtain citizenship is one thing, but providing an education for a family of illegal immigrants is not ok in my book.

In America, we value the equality of opportunity, not of results. I wholeheartedly believe that the Dream Act would have guaranteed children an unfair advantage. There are born US citizens that could never dream of attending college and Congress is going to hand an education over to these illegal immigrant children?

I am all for solving the problem of illegal immigration and striving to attain the equality of opportunity, but this democratic Congress needs to get a grip on their own citizens before providing a higher education to illegal immigrants.

jurisprudence said...

I'm with erose on this one. i think its unfair to all illegal immigrants children that opportunity and not legal immigrants children that opportunity as well. i don't think illegal immigrant children should be disadvantage by their parents choices but they surely shouldn't benefit from their parents illegal choices either. Further i think it encourages illegal immigration b/c illegal immigrants will come to America illegally because they know their children will benefit from it. in essence the parents illegal status guarantees the children’s citizenship. Also after reading the article i don't think that the state is offering to pay these kids tuition it is just saying they have to go to college. And i think community college counts. So basically if you’re an illegal child all you have to do is graduate American schools, and work a little to pay for community college and then you're granted citizenship. All that is very simple to do and unfair to the legal immigrants who have to go through complex procedures and wait in line to come to America. Sorry, i like immigrants too but the bill is unfair. illegal children should get deported along with their families back to their country and apply the legal way like every other law abiding person wanting to come to the US.

yrjb11 said...

Children of illegal immigrants are too young to control the country they live in. Therefore, it may be argued that the DREAM Act is beneficial to these children as it allows them an equal opportunity for a higher level education and may allow the children to make strong contributions to the country. However, the parents do have control over their young children. When given an opportunity like college, illegal immigrants would simply be provoked to come to the U.S. Those without the appropriate documents are simply illegal and should not benefit from this. People doing the right thing by not becoming illegal immigrants should not have to sit back and watch illegal immigrants grow into successul and free people after committing in illegal act. The children of illegal immigrants are already receiving public educations which in itself is amazing and overly generous. Therefore, they should not have the unfair advantage of a higher level of education which even alot of Americans cannot afford to have.