Many Americans are still talking about the American Dream. Nonetheless, it becomes apparent that the American Dream is not available for everyone. The DREAM Act is the document which can make people believe that the American Dream is still a reality. The DREAM Act enables young people whose status prevents them from enjoying benefits of a democratic society to acquire higher education. This Act gives a status of permanent residents to those who apply for higher education or military service.
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These people will be able to obtain a status of a permanent resident for six years. When this term is over, the young people will need to prove they used the time properly by providing a document about their academic or military achievements. Admittedly, as any act the present document has its opponents and proponents (Fox, 2012). Those who oppose the act claim that the enactment of the law can lead to various economic issues caused by increased immigration rates (Sneed, 2012).
Some officials state that many Americans can lose their jobs and young residents can fail to gain higher education because of young immigrants. Some note that “the last thing legal, tax-paying American citizens need is to see their hard-earned money used to finance the education of illegal aliens” (as cited in Barron, 2011, p. 644).
However, these arguments are quite tenuous as no sound facts have been provided to support these opinions. On the contrary, arguments in favor of this act are quite reasonable. Therefore, the US Congress should pass the DREAM Act.
First of all, it is important to admit that the DREAM Act addresses the needs of Americans who are especially vulnerable. Of course, these young people have a humiliating status of illegal immigrants. However, they are already Americans in their hearts and in their minds. The Act applies to young people who have been living in the USA for at least five years (Bruno, 2010).
This time is enough to make a child grasp the major values of the new land. In many cases, immigrants bring their little children with them. Basically, these children do not know other culture than the American culture. In his speech Obama noted that these young people “are Americans in their hearts, in their minds and in every other way but one, on paper” (Peltier, 2012, n.p.).
The US President does have a point, as young people are eager to absorb the new language, new culture, new customs and new values. They become Americans even if their parents are not, and even if they do not have certain documents. These young people are aspiring members of the society which still values the very idea of the American Dream.
Of course, some may claim that immigrants search for a better life, but choose the wrong way to do it. These people claim that immigrants are responsible for their own wretched conditions as they illegally come to the country where they are not welcome. Some people state that those people should not have come, in the first place. However, many Americans stress that it is time to show compassion. For instance, Sen. Marco Rubio claims that immigrants have come to the USA “for the right reasons” (King, 2012, n.p.).
The senator is, indeed, right. However, when it comes to children of illegal immigrant there should not be even a question whether these young people deserve compassion. These young newcomers are not responsible for choices made by their parents. It was not their choice to go to the USA. Therefore, they should not be seen as vicious aliens who are eager to take all the jobs and all the university seats away from Americans.
The young people are brought to their new homeland without their permission. It is possible to compare children of immigrants to American children. People do not choose their parents as well as their homeland. These children are brought to the new world (just like Americans are born into this world) which should be seen as their home. In fact, this makes these young people equal with the rest of Americans who receive the status of the American citizen when they are born. The DREAM Act can give the right status to children of immigrants who chose the USA to be their new home.
Finally, it is also necessary to consider economic benefits of the Act’s enactment. Admittedly, helping young immigrants to gain higher education is favorable for the US economy which can be boosted by “providing a skilled workforce” for US employers (Haskins & Tienda, 2011, p. 4).
One of major focuses of the American government has been investment into intellectual capital of the country. Young aspiring people will, undoubtedly, try their best to gain the necessary skills to achieve financial security. Financial security of the country’s citizens is one of the constituent parts of the country’s prosperity. Apart from this, the country is already investing money into helping immigrants’ children assimilate.
Thus, K-12 education is provided to these children (Russell, 2011). Apparently, investing K-12 education and ignoring higher education is illogical. More so, investments into K-12 education can become a mere waste of money without investments into higher education (Russell, 2011).
Thus, the country acquires illegal residents who speak the language and have basic knowledge, but who can grow into unskilled workforce only. Admittedly, abundance of unskilled workforce along with the lack of skilled workers can lead to various negative effects. The US economy can become less competitive which will cause even more serious financial constraints to the US citizens. Ironically, ‘legal American tax-payers’ will benefit from investing into illegal immigrants’ education as it can help the entire country prosper.
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On balance, it is possible to note that the DREAM Act is beneficial for aspiring children of illegal immigrants as well as the entire country. The Act gives the appropriate status to people who are Americans in the ways, though have no documented evidence of their citizenship. The Act grants young people with the right to acquire education which can help them achieve financial security. This right is granted to citizens who are born in the USA.
However, illegal immigrants’ children are quite equal as they did not choose their path, their parents made the choices. Finally, it is time to admit that enactment of the Dream Act is economically beneficial for the entire nation. The act will provide the country with skilled workforce that can boost the US economy.
Admittedly, this is especially important in the times of economic constraints. Therefore, American people should give young aspiring people a chance to become a part of the American society. Americans should give these people a chance to help the entire nation overcome economic difficulties. Finally, Americans simply cannot deprive someone of the opportunity to believe in the American Dream which is still something more than a slogan in ads or words of popular songs.
Barron, A. (2011). Recent development: The development, relief, and education for alien minors (DREAM) Act. Harvard Journal on Legislation, 48(1), 623-655.
Bruno, A. (2010). Unauthorized alien students: Issues and “DREAM Act” Legislation. Congressional Research Service.
Fox, L. (2012). Rubio’s own DREAM Act stalled after President’s announcement. US News.
Haskins, R. & Tienda, M. (2011). The future of immigrant children. The Future of Children, 21(1), 1-7.
King, N. (2012). Rubio says own DREAM Act derailed for now. The Wall Street Journal.
Peltier, M. (2012). Sighs of relief from America’s ‘Dreamers’. Florida Courier.
Russell, A. (2011). State policies regarding undocumented college students: A narrative of unresolved issues, ongoing debate and missed opportunities. American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
Sneed, T. (2012). Should Mitt Romney endorse Marco Rubio’s immigration plan? US News.