The DREAM Act is a bill proposed in the US that seeks to make persons who moved in the US as juveniles, but have lived in the country for five or more years before the bill is signed into law, and have graduated from an American high school permanent citizens. If such persons have served in the army for two years or have completed a four-year program at an American university or college, then they would be given a permit that is valid for 6 years and within this period, they may be given permanent residency if they have “acquired a degree from an institution of higher education in the United States or has completed at least 2 years, in good standing, in a program for a bachelor’s degree or higher degree in the United States” or have “served in the armed services for at least 2 years and, if discharged, has received an honorable discharge” (Lee, 234).
Arguments against the DREAM Act
Granting residency, temporary or permanent, to persons who entered the country illegally amounts to rewarding unlawful behavior (Galassi 24). It has to be noted that these people broke the law in crossing the borders without having necessary papers.
It simply sends a message that any minor can break the law now and receive forgiveness later from the same government that we elected in office and vowed to protect the law. If anything, if the Act is passed, it would encourage more persons to engage in illegal border activity with the hope of becoming permanent citizens after some years. Hence, in principle, the DREAM Act would only act to encourage illegal immigration.
People who are accorded permanent residency according to the DREAM Act are likewise accorded full access to state resources and this creates a burden to the taxpayers (Veliz 74). These services include education, heath, security, and state welfare, among others. The cost of access to these resources is funded by law-abiding taxpayers.
The cost can rise to millions of dollars. The ordinary citizens who are already suffering from the financial turmoil are made to suffer more since they have to dig deep into their pockets so that persons who have been given permanent residency can enjoy state services.
The Act also pokes fun at the country’s immigration system since people who follow the right procedure in becoming permanent US citizens usually have to wait for years.
However, here are people who simply enter the country illegally and rather than being dealt with in accordance with the law, are instead given permanent residency without having to go through the rigorous rules set by the official immigration system. In spite of their service in the military or attaining education inside the country, the DREAM Act is unfair to those who follow the set out procedures while entering the US.
Although the DREAM Act has not been signed into law, it has generated a lot of heated debates among opponents and proponents. However, I believe that if the US government wants to help illegal aliens, or even curb illegal immigration, then the DREAM act would do exactly the opposite. Instead, the government should encourage persons wanting permanent residency to follow appropriate channels while those who fail to do so should be dealt with according to the law.
Galassi, Jennifer. “Dare to Dream – A Review of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (Dream) Act.” Chicano-Latino Law Review, 79 (2003): 24. Print.
Lee, Youngro. “To dream or not to dream: a cost-benefit analysis of the development, relief, and education for alien minors (DREAM) act”. Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, 16.4 (2006): 231-258. Print.
Veliz, Benita Abigail. Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act: a sociological analysis of proposed immigration legislation, San Antonio, Texas: St. Mary’s University. Print.