The American government faces many challenges in trying to contain illegal immigrants from gaining access to America. Though there are mechanisms in place to enable people legally to get visas into America, some people will not qualify. Some of the unqualified people usually decide to cross the American borders illegally. It is unfortunate to note that some of the parents come along with their children through illegal ways.
These children grow up in America and take up American culture. However, later on in life, they face a lot of difficulties securing jobs or even economically empowering themselves. The government, therefore, came up with the Dream Act to help illegal minor immigrants. However, the Act has never been passed due to its disadvantages despite the good effects it has on the community.
Proposals of the Dream Act
The Dream Act proposes to offer development, relief, and education to people who came to the United States while they were under sixteen years of age. However, the youth ought to have graduated from high school, lived in the United States for five continuous years and exhibited good moral character.
The Act proposes the issuance of temporary residency to this group of people to allow them to access certain services (LaTour 219). In addition, the Act prepares the ground for the youth to gain permanent residency. Nonetheless, this will not come easily as the youth should undertake two years in the military, two years of college and two years of credit in a four-year college program, all within six years.
Arguments in Support of the Dream Act
The proponents of the Act have put forward several advantages of the Act, both to the federal government and to the illegal immigrants. To begin with, the Act helps in avoiding brain drain from America to other countries. The United States will waste resources if it trains the youth and sends them back to their homes instead of allowing them to contribute to the American economy (Marrow 245).
It will be wise for the federal government to allow the trained youth to stay and use their talents in fostering economic growth. On the same note, sending all the illegal immigrants out of America is practically impossible because others will choose to suffer in America rather than leave. Therefore, giving these youth an opportunity of securing jobs will go a long way in reducing crime rates.
On the same note, the Act will encourage many immigrants to seek higher education thus increasing their contribution to the economy. Moreover, the majority of the minors were brought to the United States when they had no power to choose what to do. It will, therefore, be inhuman to make them pay for the sins that their parents committed. Pallares and Nilda argue that “the majority of the American public seems to favor measures that would allow undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States” (26).
The Act, therefore, seeks to save the youth the agony they are condemned to live with due to mistakes of their parents. In addition, the Act will save numerous immigrants from abuse by their employers, who misuse them because they have nowhere to seek redress (LaTour 192). Generally, the Act will empower immigrants and help increase their incomes. They will then be able to pay more taxes to the government, thus increasing the income of the government.
Arguments against the Dream Act
It should be noted that the Act has received substantial opposition. First and foremost, critics see the Act as an avenue for more immigrants to come to America. Many more immigrants will endeavor to step into America using any means possible, with the expectation that the government will in future pass a law that will favor them.
As a result, instead of reducing the number of illegal immigrants, the Act will actually increase their number (Marrow 237). Secondly, the Act has been criticized as rewarding a criminal behavior which was well calculated and diligently executed. Whether the illegal immigrants were young or not a crime was committed, and actions should be taken accordingly.
Furthermore, it is known that illegal immigrants are economically incapacitated due to lack of well-paying jobs. However, the Act proposes to increase social services offered to these people. On the contrary, the amount of taxes that can be collected from them is barely enough to even cover the services they are set to receive (Pallares and Nilda 28). The result is a net tax deficit on the government which is detrimental given the current state of the economy.
Some youth who came to America at a tender age has lived in the United States the whole of their lives, and have no ties with their ancestral country. On the same note, these youth are productive and can contribute immensely to the economy if given the opportunity and the right skills. Given the difficulties that are associated with the option of deporting all immigrants from the United States, the Dream Act is a good idea. The Act will not only guarantee that the immigrants have means of survival but will also ensure that they contribute to the economic growth of the nation.
LaTour, Mark Louis. American Government and the Vision of Democrats. Lanham: University Press of America, 2007. Print.
Marrow, Helen. New Destination Dreaming: Immigration, Race, and Legal Status in the Rural American South. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011. Print.
Pallares, Amalia and Nilda Flore-Gonzalez. Marcha: Latino Chicago and the Immigrant Rights Movement. City: University of Illinois Press, 2010. Print.