The concept behind the Dream Act is that people who as children were brought illegally into the country by their illegal alien parents, were raised here, educated here, and think of themselves as Americans should be able to easily become citizens.
Those supporting this act in congress consider it a matter of fairness. These young men and women are graduating from high school and supposedly only after applying for college or a job find out that they are not American citizens, but are in fact illegal aliens. As such they are subject to arrest and deportation, just as their parents are. Supporters point to the fact that these people had no choice in coming to the United States, they did not steal across the border of their own volition, but were brought in as innocents by their parents (who themselves were only seeking a better life). All this is more or less true, though each individual case would probably have its own characteristics.
Therefore, they say, it is only fair that, if they have not committed crimes, and have completed high school, they should be able to attend college as a resident and upon graduation become a citizen. A second path to citizenship in the proposed Dream Act would be for them to join the US military and upon receiving an honorable discharge they would become citizens.
I find a few things wrong with the basic premise and suggested solution proposed as part of the dream act. The premise that they are somehow victims doesn’t really make sense; consider the following points:
- They are in the United States in violation of our federal immigration law
- They have received an elementary and high school education from our public school system
- They have enjoyed government services intended for citizens
- They have lived in better circumstances than they would have in their homeland
- In many, if not most, cases the parents have worked without paying taxes
- It is most likely that the majority of these students have known before they finished high school they and their family are illegal aliens, they just never thought they would be caught.
As you consider these things it is clear that they have directly benefited from their parents’ illegal activities, and are not victims of our system, but have victimized the system. They were not entitled to the benefits they have already received. In spite of this, the proposed act would give them resident student status, so they would pay in-state tuition and would be entitled to grants, loans, and scholarships. In-state students are subsidized by taxpayer money, so they would continue freeloading on the American Taxpayer. They would also be in competition with students who are legal citizens for this education, grants, loans, and scholarships. As if that isn’t enough, because of their minority status, they would actually have an advantage over legal citizens.
The second proposal is more rational – After honorably serving in the armed forces, having taken the oath to defend the Constitution, and swearing loyalty to the US, they would be qualified to become naturalized citizens. This is something that has historically been done before; non-citizens who volunteered in our military and served honorably have been granted citizenship. So I say “no” to enrollment in college as a step to citizenship, but yes to military service as leading to citizenship. If they want to be citizens let them join the service, and upon release go through the naturalization process.