The DREAM Act

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In recent discussions of immigration reform regarding the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act, a controversial issue has been whether to allow undocumented students to pursue higher education without any specific criteria to qualify, or deny them access to it. On the one hand, some argue that “illegals” take away job opportunities after obtaining a college degree. On the other hand, however, others argue that undocumented students greatly benefit the economy through providing a larger educated workforce. In the words of one of this view’s main proponents, the DREAM Act “rewards motivated, hardworking young adults” for their work rather than grant a free ride to college to illegal immigrant students (Deverall). According…show more content…
For example, South Carolina barred undocumented students from attending public institutions of higher learning, and also barred them from being able to receive in-state tuition, and similar actions were taken in Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, and Ohio. Nevertheless, the few states that took a step forward into broadening access to postsecondary education provided tens of the 65,000 undocumented students that graduate from high school every year to continue on to college and a better future. Immigrants come to the United States for a number of reasons, and while many think it is to achieve the “American Dream”, it is unrealistic. The real reason for migration patterns is the simple fact that the U.S. allowed it for so long to benefit its economy in regards to labor shortages and accumulation of capital, especially with Mexico during the early nineteenth century. After all, Mexican immigrants make up approximately 70% of the undocumented population (Deverall). For example, under the Bracero Treaty of 1942, more than four million Mexican farm workers were…show more content…
It is clear, then, that the U.S. is largely responsible for the current migration patterns. Still, there are those who oppose the legalization of DREAM Act for many valid but biased reasons. One claim is that the Act rewards illegal behavior and essentially grants amnesty. However, the potential beneficiaries of the Act received their immigration status from their parents while they were very young, their immigration being involuntary, so they should be able to contribute back to the only country they know. After all, under the Equal Protection Clause under the Fourteenth Amendment, all students have a right to an education, especially in a country that gets its reputation for equality
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