The DREAM Act passed the House, but outlook for the Senate is not so good. The DREAM Act is short for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act. Wikipedia provides the following information:
This bill would provide certain illegal and deportable alien students who graduate from US high schools, who are of good moral character, arrived in the U.S. illegally as minors, and have been in the country continuously and illegally for at least five years prior to the bill’s enactment, the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency if they complete two years in the military or two years at a four year institution of higher learning. The students would obtain temporary residency for a six year period. Within the six year period, a qualified student must have “acquired a degree from an institution of higher education in the United States or [have] completed at least 2 years, in good standing, in a program for a bachelor’s degree or higher degree in the United States,” or have “served in the uniformed services for at least 2 years and, if discharged, [have] received an honorable discharge.” Military enlistment contracts require an eight year commitment, with active duty commitments typically between four and six years, but as low as two years. “Any alien whose permanent resident status is terminated [according to the terms of the Act] shall return to the immigration status the alien had immediately prior to receiving conditional permanent resident status under this Act.”
The women of Moonhowlings, including its sponsor, support the DREAM Act and feel that those who do not support it are wasting a valuable human resource–good students of strong moral character who study hard and want to become productive members of society. Those attributes sound like good Americans to me. All too many American kids lack these good traits.
Every year we allow thousands of students to pour into the United States from other countries to attend our colleges and universities. Often these students go home, taking their newly acquired educations with them. Our potential DREAM Act students won’t leave. They are as American as most of our kids, they just lack the paperwork, through no fault of their own. Why on earth would we want to deport well behaved kids who do their work in school? These kids will help our work force, pay taxes and social security.
According the the LA Times:
The House passed the Dream Act after a late, hastily scheduled vote. Proponents called it the most significant immigration legislation to pass the House in a decade.
“Let’s give the dream kids an opportunity. They are American in every way but a piece of paper,” said Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.), a leading supporter. “We have come here to support the rule of law, yes, but to change the law when it is unfair.”
A handful of Republicans in both chambers criticized the Dream Act as “nightmare” amnesty legislation bound to be abused and easily subject to fraud. They said it would create more competition for work in a recession.
We can’t have it both ways. People moan and bitch about illegal immigrants joining gangs. We further grouse about them dropping out of school, leaving schools with high drop out rates. Yet, some folks are unwilling to give these kids who have proven themselves a chance. It makes no sense. To deny hard-working with kids with good grades a chance for higher education, at their own expense, is just plain old mean-spirited.