Blog Post

The Future of Millions of Innocents in the Hands of a Few

          The subject of education is a fundamental point that would not only help the development of human being, but would contribute greatly to the economic development of an entire country through the creation of new and talented professionals. The great cruelty of the education system of this country is that it has enabled millions of undocumented students to go to high school, but then forbids them to go to college. Every year thousands of students see how their dreams of accessing a university vanish, since most of these students are not eligible for financial aid from the government, nor can they apply for grants that will facilitate their academic road. This is where the DREAM Act plays an important role for this large number of undocumented students.The DREAM Act, which means Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, isa legislative proposal for which our immigrant community has been fighting since 2001. In December 2010 the proposed legislation was approved in the House of Representatives but not in the Senate and did not become a law. The hope that the community has is that the DREAM Act becomes law for young students to have a way to legalize their status. Amongother things, the DREAM Act would give a “conditional nonimmigrant status” to undocumented youth who came to this country at the age of 16, or earlier, and satisfy with a maximum age of 29. Thanks to this law, young undocumented immigrants may obtain a "legal status", and after 10 years may apply for citizenship, as long as this person completed two years of college or two years of service in the armed forces as well as other requirements. For example, they have to pay taxes, and demonstrate the ability to read, write and speak English, etc. The future of new professionals is in the hands of the politicians of this country, both Democrats and Republicans, who for many years have been carrying the law of the DREAM Act from stage to stage without being able to provide a unanimous thought and so definitely approve it.

          As a critique to the DREAM Act, in the article of The New York Times “State Senate Rejects Bill Granting Tuition Aid to Illegal Immigrants” written by Thomas Kaplan and Jesse Mckinley, we can clearly analyze the fight between Republicans and Democrats in this kind of case. This article talks about the recent failure of the DREAM Act in the New York State Senate, where 32 votes were needed in order for the law to be approved. A Senate with a majority of democrats rejected the measure that would have granted state tuition aid to undocumented immigrantwith 30 votes in favor and 29 against. Thatnot beingenough, the article from The New York Times “Cuomo Drops Dream Act and Education Tax Credit From Budget, “written by Liz Robbins states that after the failure that the measure had in the New York State Senate, the Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who has vowed to push for the DREAM act, decided to removed it from the budget because in his own words “we’re nowhere close to an agreement,” “so it was pointless in the budget”. One of the opinions against the Dream Act is that “like most New Yorkers, he doesn’t believe taxpayers should cover the cost of free college tuition for illegal immigrants while hardworking, middle-class families here legally take out student loans that will take them years to repay,” a spokesman for Mr. Skelos, the Senate majority leader, Scott Reif, said.This has caused the disappointment of thousands of young New Yorkers students, who see the opportunity vanish, once again, to access financial support from the state government to continue their university studies. It is very worrying and disappointing that Governor Cuomo prefer to invest in tax credits for the rich instead of providing access to education for thousands of young undocumented immigrants in New York.

          Despite the critiquess received, the DREAM Act still has arguments why it should be approved and the numbers speak for themselves. The website “Center for American Progress”, which is a progressive public policy research and advocacy organization, presents an article titled “The Economic Benefits of Passing the DREAM Act” written by Juan Carlos Guzman and Raul C. Jar shows that the approval of the DREAM Act would add $ 329 billion to the US economy and create 1.4 million new jobs by 2030, which would be a major boost for the fiscal health of the nation. For making the projections, they took into account factors such as educational level, age, sex, race and ethnicity and they “used American Community Survey data from 2006 to 2010 to calculate the number of eligible unauthorized youth that would qualify for the DREAM and then put the data into a robust model of the likely educational and job attainment potential of eligible DREAMers to estimate their likely future earnings”. In addition to the economics benefits, the approval of the DREAM Act would benefit the armed forces of the United States of America, and in turn the security of the country, since would increase dramatically the rate of qualified candidates to serve in the armed forces. By having the option to enroll in military service to obtain citizenship, hundreds of thousands of young people and high school graduates, may choose to enroll in the military and defend the only country they know.

          Most young people who could adjust their immigration status, if the DREAM Act passes, know no other country more than the US. They were raised in this community, educated in these schools and influenced by this culture. All they want is that their presence be officially recognized to be able to contribute to this country.

 

Works CIted

Guzman, Juan Carlos, and Raul C. Jara "The Economic Benefits of Passing the DREAM Act." Center For American Progress. Center For American Progress, 30 September. 2012. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.

Kaplan, Thomas, and Jesse Mckinley. "State Senate Rejects Bill Granting Tuition Aid to Illegal Immigrants." The New York Times. The New York Times, 17 Mar. 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.

Robbins, Liz. "Cuomo Drops Dream Act and Education Tax Credit From Budget." The New  York Times. The New York Times, 24 Mar. 2015. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.

 

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2 comments

Hello Paul, I enjoyed your blog post it was very informative. I come from a family of immigrants, who have had to struggle for equal educational opportunities. Reading your blog post has helped me understand the importance of the DREAM ACT. When I graduated high school, I remember several students who were not able to go to college because they did not have the proper funding. I was surprised to have read that the DERAM ACT did not pass because I two points.  Your blog post address the important issue, which both the Democrat and Republican Party must work together to create a better solution, that can benefit the lives of millions of immigrant children. Its imporant to keep the dream alive. 

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Hello Paul, I found your post to be interesting and informative. In my Urban Studies class we recently were assigned a reading on the DREAM Act, so I was familiar with the topic. I agree that its not right to allow all these undocumented students to attend elementary, middle and high school and then when its time for college make it almost impossible. I know students who didn’t see college in their future because they couldn’t apply for FAFSA. The country spends a lot of money to educate these students up to the age of 18, they should be able to continue in a higher education setting. 

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