by Wendy Valdovinos
I remember the first time my mom told me that we were going to “le norte”. I was very happy to hear the news, because I knew that, was the place my mother had been living in the past two years. I asked my mom “what was so great about this place anyway?” she said “ice-cream fell from the sky, there was endless amounts of pizza and of course it was the place we were going to make our dreams come true.” As always my mother was right, in the United States ice-cream does fall from the sky we just know it as snow, there is endless amounts of pizza but you have to pay for it, and you can make your dreams come true if you work really hard and are a citizen of this country. So what happens if you are a child like me brought to this country at the age of five to make your dreams come true, dreams that you haven’t even dreamt. I am lucky enough to now be a citizen of this country, but I know that there are many other young people like me that aren’t so lucky. So my question is what happens to these young people who are trying to achieve their dreams but cannot because of their legal status in America? If the DREAM Act is passed it will give everyone with a similar story like mine to make their dreams come true. The United States should grant citizenship to children that were brought here illegally by their parents through the DREAM Act.
The DREAM Act would give to thousands of young people in the United States the opportunity to live a very successful life. There are currently sixty-five thousand young people who graduate from high school each year, that would like to go to college and make their dream a reality but their legal status will not allow them to do so (Morales, Murray, Herrera 261). The DREAM Act stands for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act and it was first introduced in 2001 but it has still yet to be passed. Since then the closest thing we have to the DREAM Act is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The DACA allows anyone who qualifies for the DREAM Act not to be deported for at least two years. I believe that the DACA was put in place because we see the potential that these young people have to offer. There are so many positive contributions these dreamers can bring to this country. Most of these young people’s dreams are to go to college and get a good job so they can better not only themselves, but America as a whole. To better America the DREAM Act must be passed.
The DREAM Act sounds like a wonderful thing for those whom would benefit from it but to even be considered, you must meet some very specific qualifications. Some of the qualifications are; 1.that you must have entered the United States before the age of sixteen, 2.) you should have been in the United States for 5 consecutive years before the bill was enacted, 3.) you must also obtain a high school diploma or a GED from the United States, 4.) you should also be between the ages of 12 and 35 at the time of the application, and 5.) last but not least the person applying must have good moral character. Many people have said that if the DREAM Act is passed then it will encourage more immigrants to come to America illegally, but that is not the case because of these qualifications. Whether the DREAM Act is passed or not immigration rates will not rise because of this Act.
The DREAM Act is not only hope for these young people but it is also a hope for America. It is a hope that if the DREAM Act is passed we will finally start to work on other immigration problems this country currently faces. We should remember that these young adults were brought here not by choice but because of the choice of their parents. It is my belief that they should not be punished for a law that was broken for them. I also believe that if a child achieves citizenship through the DREAM Act that they should not be able to obtain citizenship for their parents. The reason for this is; because their parents knew what they were doing and they should not be rewarded for breaking the law.
The DREAM Act is hope. It is the hope to go to college, get a career, and be successful. It would be unfair for the United States to send these young people back to their birth country because it is a country they do not know. The United States educated some of these dreamers from elementary school all the way to high school, so why shouldn’t we benefit for the education we provided to them? The DREAM Act also has long term benefits for the economy it would add 329 billion dollars to the economy within the next two decades according to USA Today. (Gomez par. 1) There are so many benefits to the DREAM Act, that I question why it has not been passed yet. My hope is that by the end of this President Obama’s term something will be done not only for the DREAM Act but for immigration as a whole. America must give these dreamers a chance because if we don’t who will?
Gomez, Alan. “DREAM Act would boost economy, think tank says.” USA Today January 10 2012, early ed. n. pag.Web. 26 Sep. 2013
Morales, Amanda, Socorro Herrera, and Kevin Murry. “Navigating the Waves of Social and Political Capriciousness: Inspiring Perspectives from DREAM-Eligible Immigrant Students.” 10.3 (2011): 266-283. Proquest. Web. 23 Sep 2013.