Dream Act Will Remain A Dream For Illegal ImmigrantsBy Debra Wilson on January 19, 2011, 6:25 am
One of the criticisms of the bill from anti-illegal immigration activists, according to the report, is that it rewards bad behavior by enlarging the pool of those having to compete for state financial aid, thus forcing legal students to struggle with illegals in an already cash-strapped education system. The issue here is not that academic competition is a bad thing. Competition in the classroom, after all, is what spurs students to strive for the best.The bigger issue here is the kind of message that the California Dream Act sends to future illegal immigrants. On the one hand, it may demonstrate that the American Dream can be achieved by those that come here. On the other hand, it also sends the message that one can illegally come here without any real consequences.
Sen. Claire McCaskill recently voted for the DREAM Act, which means she voted for her Missouri constituents to pay more taxes to pay for illegal immigrants’ schooling, food stamps, health care and more. What doesn’t she understand about the word “illegal?” She agrees that our current immigration laws are in need of major reform.The DREAM Act is an attempt to recognize the difficult status of individuals whose parents brought them into this country illegally through no decision of their own. But there were many controversial aspects of this particular bill, such as the cut-off age for its application and the fact that an individual could be convicted of three misdemeanors and still qualify, that deserved a full debate.
Their proposals would require all parents to prove their citizenship status before they can receive a birth certificate for their baby. Proponents maintain birthright-citizenship gives an incentive to foreign nationals to break U.S. law in much the way they say the Dream Act, which would have created a pathway to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants brought to the country before age 16, would have rewarded illegal activity. Instead we should celebrate the right to citizenship, as granted by the 14th Amendment, a quintessential cornerstone of American civil rights in itself.
Obtaining citizenship is the important last step to being fully integrated in American society, where being a citizen gives one the right to vote, the permanent right to work in the U.S., and the right to travel freely abroad. It encourages civic participation and activism, and is a way for immigrants to show that they are proud to be an American. That is why every year, hundreds of thousands of immigrants gather at oath ceremonies throughout the country to pledge allegiance to the United States and to become U.S. citizens