Immigrant children of minor age, who otherwise display good behavior, hard work and are gifted enough to contribute positively to the society are denied educational opportunities at par with other students resulting in growing population of less skilled residents in the country. Ironically, as the child and his/her family stay in the US anyway, this approach is not only a loss for the child but to the US as well.
Fiscal Policy Institutes’ studies show that immigrants contribute significantly to US economy and, regardless of their immigration status, are “carrying more than their weight and not a burden on the US economy by any means” (Persaud 11). Contrary to popular belief, The DREAM act is not an “amnesty or citizenship” to these immigrants but a way for them to “earn legalization” by giving them work permits after education (Persaud 11). Amongst the unauthorized immigrant population there are nearly three hundred and sixty thousand high school graduates, (Van Hook, Bean, and Passel) and another seven hundred and fifteen thousand such undocumented children in the age bracket of 5 to 17 years (Topiel).
Proponents argue that the DREAM Act must be passed quickly. They argue that undocumented students must not be punished for their parents’ fault in illegal immigration. Being minors at the time of immigration, they could not be held responsible for wrong decisions by their elders. Studies on immigrant youths (Jefferies 250) show that they are hard working, gifted and overcome insurmountable odds. Denying them equal opportunity in higher education would result in the American work force losing access to these hard working and intelligent individuals who would be reduced to working in labor jobs (Jefferies 249-250).
Opponents to giving equal rights to undocumented children in higher education argue that passing the DREAM Act would rob the regular citizens’ children of