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The DREAM Act - Essay Example

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Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (or the DREAM Act) is a proposed legislation in the United States, which is aimed at immigration reform that can be considered as one of the various immigration-related bills that were presented to the law making bodies of the country at the federal level…
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The DREAM Act
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The DREAM Act

Background: According to the website Dream Act of 2009, the proposal legislation “is a long anticipated Immigration Bill which was just introduced in the US Congress (both Senate and House) on March 26, 2009. This original legislation was proposed to provide millions of immigrant children who graduate from U.S. High Schools the opportunity to receive U.S. Residency (a "Green Card") after so many years of being left in the shadows by State and Federal laws.” This innovative legislation would render immigration benefits to several young individuals who are presently considered as illegal migrants in the country. And this is the very reason that why several law makers and analysts oppose this bill. For example, reputed immigration policy analyst Krikorian has asserted that “all amnesties have at least three harmful consequences, and the DREAM Act ignores all three. The first of these is massive fraud. Perhaps one-fourth of those legalized under the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act received amnesty fraudulently, including Mahmud Abouhalima, a leader of the first World Trade Center attack.” Hence, review of immigration enforcement is a precondition to the enactment of the proposed DREAM Act. Thesis Statement: The DREAM Act can benefit both the US economy and the young immigrants in the country provided that immigration enforcement within the provisions of the proposed Act is properly implemented and fraudulent practices are prevented. Analysis Benefits: The DREAM Act seeks to legalize the undocumented youth and young adults in the country if they fulfill certain educational criteria and effort to obtain college graduation. From an economic viewpoint, legalization of unauthorized students can be an important incentive for them to work hard and graduate from a high school. This will improve their chances of obtaining higher education. Ultimately, the overall number of college graduates in the country will increase. College graduates obtain higher salaries and hence they will yield higher tax revenues as well. The increased financial contribution of the legalized educated immigrants will repay the necessary educational investments within a few years. Thereafter, the system would provide a profit to the tax payers for several decades. “The impact of legalization would not be limited to increased earnings, tax revenues, and social services savings. In a stable economy, such legalization would enable thousands of young immigrants to join the legal workforce, helping businesses and the economy fill crucial needs.” (Perez, xxix) Apart from benefiting the economy in a holistic way, DREAM Act will stop the exploitation of the unauthorized students in a cash economy. Forced, illegal labor will be prevented and better life standards will be ensured. Immigration Enforcement: According to the DREAM Act of 2009 Sec. 5 (c) and (d), if the youths and young adults (who arrived in the United States before 16 years of age) have graduated from the country’s high school, achieved a GED, and are pursuing a college degree (or rendering military service), they can be given permanent residency (there are several other residential, moral, and gender specific conditions too). Moreover, these potential citizens should be aged between 12 to 35 years at the time of the bill enactment. In this way, the educational requirements enforced by the DREAM Act already make the citizenship criteria even under amnesty rather strict. The way the American institutions work, only the best of the young aliens will be able to pass the education benchmarking provided by the proposed Act. Thus “ ... Read More
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