Specially for this purpose the DREAM Act was developed in 2001 by Orrin Hatch and Dick Durbin. The name of the act is the acronym for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors. It provides a chance to those aliens who demonstrate their good moral character after arriving to the US before they were 16, living in the country for at least 5 years and graduating from the US high schools (Greenwood and McDowell 2011). Such students can choose to complete two years in a four-year institution of higher education or two years in the military to receive temporary residence for a period of 6 years. Within the six years they receive in the country they have to either complete at least two years un a bachelor’s or higher educational program, or to serve at least two years, receiving honorable discharge in case they are discharged. In case thus doesn’t happen, the immigration status before the temporary citizenship is returned to the alien. Thus, I believe that the DREAM Act is the best way to partially solve the problem of immigrants’ legalization, because it can really help a lot of immigrants to receive legal status in the country, it will help overcome the exiting crisis in the US military enlistment, keep the immigrant students from dropping out of schools and improve the future prospects for the students.
The first important factor that makes the DREAM Act one of the best way of legalization is that it gives immigrants a vivid ray of hope that they can stay in the country they have grown up in and love with all their heart. A lot of immigrants don’t remember themselves living in the other countries, which is why USA are everything to them. It wasn’t their choice to break the law and illegally migrate to the country, which is why those who really want to stay and work for the country’s prosperity should definitely receive a chance to do it, in my point of view. The DREAM Act can really ease the adaptation procedure and, furthermore, motivate immigrant students to do their best to achieve the highest results so as to receive the status of permanent resident of the USA (Ojeda et al. n.d.).
The second factor is very important for the US military system. With the help of the DREAM Act there will be direct inflow of additional power into the army, as those who really want to serve for the country’s benefit and leave in the country can choose to get enlisted into the army. The current crisis existing in the country can be easily overcome in this way, which creates a win-win situation for both parties – the immigrants and the country.
The fact that this act will decrease the drop-out rates for immigrant students is also very important, as today it is really too high. There are too many problems students have to solve in order to get used to the situation in which they have to study, which all too often results in student’s dropping out of school. If this problem is solved and proper conditions are created for the students, it is a perfect way to organize for the inflow of qualified personnel into the job market. Overall future prospects for students can be considerably improved for the students, as they will clearly see the goal – complete education or military service and receive permanent citizenship with all the consequent benefits. It will definitely serve as a powerful motivator, facilitating students to achieve the best possible results.
Although there are considerable benefits for the DREAM Act, in order to fully understand the issue, it is necessary to consider the statements of the opponents of the act. First of all, they say that it will reward illegal immigration. Second, this doesn’t require the immigrant to learn the English language proficiently, which makes the process of assimilation very difficult for them. Third, many people are afraid that the US citizens will be forced to give some places of their children to the immigrants due to this act.
Greenwood, M.J. and McDowell, J.M. “USA immigration policy, source-country social programs, and the skill composition of legal USA immigration.” Journal of Population Economics 24.2 (2011): 521-539. Print.
Lee, Y. “To dream or not to dream: a cost-benefit analysis of the development, relief, and education for alien minors (DREAM) act.” Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy 16 (2006): 231-258. Print.
Ojeda, R.H., Takash, P.C., Castillo, G., Flores, G., Monroy, A. and Sargeant D. No DREAMers Left Behind. N.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2012.