Each year, many immigrants flock to the United States in search of greener pasture. The porous border, especially through Mexico, makes it easy for immigrants to penetrate and move further Southwards in the hope of getting a better life. To check against their influx, America has tightened border security and repatriated those identified within the border. Obama’s administration has however decided to change the policy to immigrants who are fifteen years and below by the time of their arrival in America. Through the Dream Act, undocumented immigrants who have gone through American high school will benefit from green cards that will accord them citizen status. The Act has faced stiff opposition from Republicans who argue that it will increase crime and impose an unnecessary burden on taxpayers (Marquardt 18). This essay will show that the Dream Act is not only socially and economically beneficial to Americans but also moral.
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Reasons for DREAM Act
If the Senate passes the Dream Act, an estimated 2.5 million young people will benefit, translating to approximately 70,000 annually (Pérez 17). Admittedly, the young immigrants found their way into the United States through their parents and it would be unfair to adjudge them (children) illegal for an act they neither commissioned nor executed. American education system integrates young boys and girls into the social and cultural norms of American society. English becomes their language of communication and America’s value system becomes interred into their subconscious. Given their legal status as provided by the current laws, innocent and young immigrants are condemned to the periphery of American life. The Dream Act, if passed, will offer them a complete sense of belonging by incorporating them into mainstream life.
Despite receiving the best education from American schools, the unauthorized status of young immigrants bars them from education and professional advancement. The Dream Act, if passed into law, will eliminate these hurdles, and the economy will immensely benefit. Studies indicate that a college graduate portends 60% more benefits to the economy than a high school graduate (Schwab, William, & Gearhart 34). America base revenue will therefore increase, portending social and economic gains to all.
Reasons against the DREAM Act
Opponents of the Dream Act have premised their argument on the flimsy grounds that allowing young immigrants green cards would be tantamount to a rewarding crime. On the face of it, the argument is logical in the sense that the parents of young immigrants made their way into America through illegal means. Deep scrutiny however reveals that such an argument seeks to condemn young immigrants for an action they did not have control over.
In the issue of young immigrants, America has no choice but to grant them citizenship status. Deporting them to their parent’s countries of origin would be inhuman as they (immigrants) have little or no connection with it. America stands to benefit more from such immigrants in terms of the labor force, military service, and many other areas. It is unfair to condemn them because of their parents’ transgression. President Obama, as quoted by Zastrow, opined, “The kids know no other place as home” (34). The Dream Act borrows heavily from the American dream that promises rewards for those ready to work. If the young men and women are ready to roll up their sleeves and toil, America should not stand in their way.
Marquardt, Marie F. Living “illegal”: The Human Face of Unauthorized Immigration. New York, NY: New Press, 2011. Print.
Pérez, William. We Are Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream. Sterling, Va: Stylus, 2009. Print.
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Schwab, William A, and G D. Gearhart. Right to Dream: Immigration Reform and America’s Future. Fayetteville, Ark: University of Arkansas Press, 2013. Internet resource.
Zastrow, Charles. Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare. S.l.: Brooks Cole, 2013. Print.