Saturday, December 11, 2010

DREAM ACT ... OR NIGHTMARE?


The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) has a very alluring sound to it ... and on the surface, sounds like a noble thing that the country should do. When supporters espouse the benefits of this bill ... I know I feel myself falling right into the mindset of allowing amnesty for these kids. In a nutshell, here is what they want you to believe this act will accomplish.
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Imagine a young child, or even an infant ... crossing our border in the arms of their parents. This child grows up, attends and graduates high school, and then finds out that he is illegal when he attempts to apply for financial aid for college. The child considers him or herself an American, can't even speak his native tongue, doesn't even know anyone in his native country. Now, all of a sudden ... all his dreams are over. Is he supposed to turn himself in for deportation to a country he considers foreign? A country where he knows no one, or even the language? Are we supposed to punish him for the sins of his parents? Put yourself in this person's shoes ... is this in any way fair?
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What this bill is supposed to do is give these kids a pathway to citizenship if several stipulations are followed.
  1. The child must have been under 16 years of age when he came to this country.
  2. The child must have been present in the United States for 5 years prior to the implementation of the Act.
  3. The child must have graduated from high school or gotten a GED.
  4. The child must be between the ages of 12 and 35 at the time of application.
  5. The child must be of good moral character.

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If the child qualifies, they will be given "conditional" permanent residency, and if they complete either 2 years of military service or 2 years of college ... then they can become permanent residents, and eventually, if they wish ... citizens.

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Here are my problems with the bill.

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I've spoken to Border Patrol Agents, and children under 16 often cross illegally ... without their parents. Children in other parts of the world tend to grow up a little quicker than they do here in the USA. Here in the USA, we like to give our kids a childhood, in other countries parents don't have that luxury, and the kids take on responsibilities for helping out the family ... like getting a job, that some of our kids (unfortunately) don't do till they are 30. Recently a 14 year old was arrested in Mexico for being a cartel hit-man.

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The good moral character stipulation has been interpreted to mean that the child has not been convicted of a felony. What that tells me is that he can be convicted of things like assault, manslaughter and domestic violence. This is not the child that I was led to believe would be helped by this Act. I can see overlooking something like a juvenile shop-lifting conviction or possesion of a joint ... but this is way to broad.

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I'm fine with giving illegals who complete 2-yrs of military service a pathway to citizenship ... but attending college??? Serving in the military is just that ... service to our country. Attending college is a privelege ... a privelege that many CITIZENS would love to have. I realize that not every one of these applicants are capable of military service, but there has to be some kind of SERVICE that these kids have to do to qualify. In Germany, as a requirement to KEEP your citizenship, at the age of 18 you must do 6 months of military service. If you are a conscientious objector (or are physically or mentally unable to serve) you can do Zilidienst (civilian service). This Zilidienst is paid community service, usually in hospitals, senior centers ... etc. For Germany this is the price of just keeping your citizenship ... and we want to just give away our citizenship for going to college?

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As a supporter of doing something for these kids (the ones that truly deserve it), this Act would have to be fixed before I could support it.

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6 comments:

Debbie said...

My problem is that these kids in many states will be given preference in college and preference to in-state tuition. It isn't fair.

Debbie
Right Truth
http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

Always On Watch said...

I totally oppose attending college as a pathway to citizenship.

And let's look at this from the colleges' point of view. In order for these colleges to stay up and running, a certain percentage of enrolled students have to pay out-of-state tuition. If in-state tuition includes more students, the rates for all the students will soar. Tuitions are outrageously high as it is!

WomanHonorThyself said...

hey Paul.:-).and oh if theyre criminals its just fine too..what a night mare indeed!

Paul Champagne said...

Debbie
that's why I don't want going to college to be one of the qualifiers. After they complete their service, THEN they can go to college.

AOW
I have a problem with these "public" colleges. I can't seem to understand why tuitions are so high. I've got one in my town, and not only do I have to pay for it out of my property taxes ... they charge an outlandish amount for tuition. They say it's because they want to be a "tier one research facility". I thought that the purpose of puplic universities was education. Let's leave the other stuff to the private institutions that can charge whatevere they want. And by the way ... this public university employs nationally known football and basketball coaches ... and they don't come cheap.

Angel
Legalizing criminals helps expand the Democratic voting base.

Always On Watch said...

Paul,
I have a problem with these "public" colleges. I can't seem to understand why tuitions are so high. I've got one in my town, and not only do I have to pay for it out of my property taxes ... they charge an outlandish amount for tuition.

I know exactly what you mean!

At the rate tuitions are climbing, that tuition will soon be out of the reach of all but the upper middle class and higher. **sigh**

Meanwhile, of course, minorities are given priorities for Pell Grants. **sigh again**

Always On Watch said...

BTW, scholarships do help. I coach students in that regard. But not all students are capable of getting those scholarships.