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DREAM Act gives illegal immigrants unfair advantage over legal students

Staff Writer

Published: Monday, October 11, 2010

Updated: Monday, October 11, 2010 13:10


The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act was voted down by the Senate on September 21. While many have chosen to support this act out of compassion for others, some see this as a vanguard to allowing the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants citizenship status for defying the natural system America has in place.

The DREAM Act was first proposed in 2001 and has been continually debated in both the House and the Senate year after year. This year the DREAM Act was attached to the National Defense Authorization Act by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), coincidentally the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was also attached. The bill was filibustered by Republicans and a single Democrat, and it failed to receive cloture by a narrow vote of 56-43.

The DREAM Act would allow illegal aliens of “good moral character” who, brought here before the age of 16, graduated high school and finished either two years of community college or military service, to establish permanent residency in America.  While under the two years of military service or education, the alien receives conditional status that could allow them in-state tuition rates. After completing the requirements and obtaining permanent status, the no-longer-alien becomes eligible for rights to Pell Grants and federal aid in attending school.

Many proponents of the DREAM Act argue that the only reason it failed was because it was attached with the controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy; however, the DREAM Act actually received more media attention than this policy. With Arizona and other states introducing immigration reform, any steps to change our methodology are being met with hot criticism.

It is estimated that $22 billion dollars is spent on social welfare benefits to illegal immigrants, which does not include spending on medical care, legal benefits and education costs. estimates the cost of public-school education in all 50 states at $28 billion. California spends $3.2 billion educating illegal alien students and an additional $4.5 billion educating children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants.

Having known an illegal immigrant who attended public school, was of good moral character, I, nevertheless, feel that the DREAM Act gives illegal immigrants unfair advantages over hardworking, legal students. Tuition rates are rising with the demand of larger college enrollment than ever, and more and more college kids are being forced to take out loans to attend college. So should America authorize illegal aliens with a pathway to citizenship through our already defunct educational system? Imagine if you had to attend community college just to remain a citizen. That sounds like an incentive to me.

I sincerely doubt that there are competent illegal aliens in America that are unaware of their immigration status. America’s immigration laws are clear. For the cases of aliens that were accepted into prestigious institutions and later detained, all I can say is that there was a proper way for someone not a citizen of America to gain a student visa.

 To supporters of the DREAM Act, do not be discouraged, the bill has been added to the docket, for either the lame-duck session or the next Congressional session, as a standalone bill. To those who wish to keep the limited federal aid in the hands of America citizens, you must voice your opinion to your newly elected representatives.

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