Social Question

dreamwolf's avatar

What are your thoughts about the DREAM Act?

Asked by dreamwolf (3142 points ) September 21st, 2011

There is tons of information here. http://www.nacacnet.org/LegislativeAction/LegislativeNews/Pages/TheDREAMAct.aspx

Do you think we should have sympathy for illegal minors who have already completed elementary and or middle-highschools? Or should they be deported? Even if they have been accepted into Universities through out the states? Doesn’t the fact that they have completed a U.S. education indicate that they are capable of putting in good works for American society? Otherwise we could all look to the words of Jack White, “Most Americans have nothing to do, why don’t you kick yourself out you’re an immigrant too.”

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

30 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

The idea of deporting someone who was raised and educated in America is ridiculous to me. Of course they should be able to stay.

Blackberry's avatar

Well, since I’m a compassionate liberal who feels this isn’t anymore “our” country than it is “thiers” (as well as a plethora of other reasons), I see no problem with it. They’ve already been in the U.S. for quite awhile if they’ve completed high school.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Stay! Especially if they’ve proven their willingness to contribute to our society.

PhiNotPi's avatar

The main problem with illegal immigration is that we don’t want the violence associated with the drug cartels moving north, or any people working for extremely low wages / human trafficking, or people who don’t pay taxes. If they graduate highschool, they probably have good intentions and intend on getting a real job. I don’t see any reason that they should be deported and sent to whatever part of Mexico that may have drug cartels, gang violence, etc.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why would we have a problem with people working for low wages?

JLeslie's avatar

@PhiNotPi You do realize with the Dream Act the immigrants you speak of would be legal once the paperwork is taken care of.

PhiNotPi's avatar

I was trying to say that we should allow them to stay because they “would probably have good intentions”. I also said “I don’t see any reason they (the high school graduates) should be deported.”

Nullo's avatar

We have a system for immigration. If we just let people stay ‘cos they’ve been here, then we’ve pretty much forfeited our own sovereignty.

dreamwolf's avatar

@Nullo What would you say is the case for my situation? My father went to the Philippines got with my mom, had me, I was born a U.S. citizen on U.S. military base there, brought to San Diego, where my mom and dad married. Am I more or less of a U.S. citizen in your mind than that of an American citizen born in Mexico, but belongs to two American parents? My point is you’re argument bends. The system is bent. “If we just let people stay ‘cos they’ve been here, then we’ve pretty much forfeited our own sovereignty.” We’re not letting them stay because they’ve been here, it’s because they had no choice as a child to know where they were going to grow up. I feel its horrible to throw a tiger into the ocean, after it has grown up in the jungle. But I certainly do respect your opinion Nullo.

Nullo's avatar

@dreamwolf We also have a system for kids born to citizens abroad. IIRC the parents must notify the embassy (or consulate?) of the birth, manage some paperwork, and then have the kid spend some time Stateside before he reaches the age of majority. My argument derives from rigid laws – it is yours that’s bendy.
It’s not all rainbows and sunshine, but that’s hardly relevant when it comes to issues of law and sovereignty. If you don’t draw a line, you’re going to get walked all over.

You were born to a U.S. citizen on an U.S. military base – which for most legal purposes is the same as being born in, say, Washington D.C. You are a citizen, no question.

wonderingwhy's avatar

If your going to make that arrangement, offer it to all would-be foreign students/citizens, and make it contingent on a BS. However, until the law says otherwise (and changing that is obviously much bigger than the DREAM act), I would also require they maintain valid residency status (student visa, green card, whatever – this could easily be done as part of their college acceptance/application process) and if they fail or choose not to accept citizenship they will be deported to the country of their or their parents origin unless they obtain a work visa with in a set time.

JLeslie's avatar

@wonderingwhy I am not completely understanding your answer. Are you saying the person must go to college, or have a college degree to become legal in America if they grew up here illegally? You say they have to maintain a valid residency, the whole point is they are illegal. Without papers. The Dream Act tries to help them get their papers, eventually being able to apply for citizenship. And, are you saying they cannot live here as green cards, they must go for full citizenship or be deported? Again, I don’t even think they are given citizenship at first most likely.

wonderingwhy's avatar

@JLeslie Are you saying the person must go to college, or have a college degree to become legal in America if they grew up here illegally?

For purposes of the DREAM act, yes, of course they can always apply through the standard channels and should be afforded temporary status until the paperwork (for citizenship or green card) is processed. If those channels are not properly defined or ill suited to the task of managing such cases, they need to made right.

You say they have to maintain a valid residency, the whole point is they are illegal.

Yes, they are illegal but the goal is to allow them to become legal. I’m suggesting the DREAM act be used to get them conditional papers to be made final upon graduation. (I think we’re on the same page there, I just spelled it out better in my head than in-post.) I’m also saying they need to maintain that “conditional validity” once processed – i.e. no criminal actions.

And, are you saying they cannot live here as green cards, they must go for full citizenship or be deported?
Yeah, I should’ve said that better. …if they fail or choose not to accept citizenship they will be deported to the country of their or their parents origin unless they obtain a work visa with in a set time. I should’ve said “work visa or green card (legal status)”. My point here is if you set up a program to aid these kids by providing them temporary status in order for them to attain a degree and/or citizenship. If they don’t, they shouldn’t be kicked out, the act should continue to provide temporary status but at that point if they are over 18 they do have to make a decision to either become citizens or get authorized status (through the standard process while having their temporary status extended to cover the interim) if they don’t they are then illegal by choice.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Actually I think maybe I’m just trying to shoe-horn my opinion into the DREAM act.

Why not simply afford the same kids who would qualify under the DREAM act temporary legal status until “of age” (18; or 21 if that makes more sense). A core part of this status makes them eligible for both college and employment. Once they are of age they become eligible to make a choice of legal status (which ever type they prefer) or not. If they choose the former their paperwork is expedited, if they choose the latter, they are granted a 90 day grace period and leave. Two exceptions being if they are in college or working full time in which case they will be allowed to attain the degree they are working towards or maintain employment for six months after which they will must leave and have to reapply through normal channels if they so desire.

The end result being not holding kids responsible for their parents actions and giving them the opportunity to make the decision for themselves with full understanding of the results.

Allie's avatar

I know I’m probably the minority here (especially on Fluther), but I feel that non-citizens shouldn’t be automatically given the privileges of citizens simply because they’ve been here long enough. If anyone wants to be a citizen they should become one legally.

JLeslie's avatar

@Allie That is what the Dream Act is about, becoming a citizen legally. When a child comes here at the age of 4 illegally, grows up their entire childhood as Americans, they have basically no legal path in America, they are simply undocumented, but the only country and home they really know is American. What are they supposed to do? Apply to immigration saying, “hi, I am in the country illegally, will you give me legal status?” Their circumstance sucks by no fault of their own.

Allie's avatar

@JLeslie What are they supposed to do? Apply to immigration saying, “hi, I am in the country illegally, will you give me legal status?” Yes, go through the proper steps. I wouldn’t go to some other country, live there for years, then just assume I’ll be given citizenship. And yes, their circumstance does suck.

JLeslie's avatar

@Allie There are no steps that I know of. If someone is in the country illegally, if immigration finds out, that person is to be deported. The proper step is to apply for the correct papers before entering the country.

Allie's avatar

@JLeslie Then maybe they’ll have to apply once they get to the country they are a citizen of.
I know I hold the dissenting opinion here. I appreciate you not attacking me for it, regardless of how our stances differ.

JLeslie's avatar

@Allie But, they were little children when they came here. America is their country, just not legally. Put yourself in their position.

My husband is an Immigrant. Every immigrant I know who did it the legal way loathes that the Cubans simply get a asylum, and some others who have been here illegally get in by a lottery. His sister, again she was born and raised in Mexico, was all for the Arizona laws that caused so much controversy. I disagree with her, but I agree we need to protect our boarders. I only explain this, because I don’t want you to think I just look it at like some liberal bleeding heart wanting to let everyone in. But, the children raised here from school age, because their parents brought them across the boarder, I just can’t see sending them back to their Latin American country. Living here illegally means a life for them that puts them at a terrible disadvantage, being labelled a criminal, basically having to work as a criminal, because it will have to be under the table.

Back to my very first sentence in this post. if America has looked the other way for 13 years of school, I don’t see how we can then just kick them out. We are guilty as well, not just the parents who came here illegally with their children.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

I’m Indian… I get to stay! I think we’ve been kicked quite enough.

Now… Go play poker and take out loans with rediculously stupid high interest rates so we can fleece you back.

And don’t stop until Manhatten is worth Wampum again.

*And to answer the question. I think they should get to stay absolutely.

Allie's avatar

@JLeslie I understand that, and yes, it is very unfortunate for them. I’m not anti-immigration – if someone wants to become an American citizen, then more power to them. I am against illegal immigration, no matter who it is. Yes, I understand they were children when they came here with their parents, but then perhaps that is something their parents should have considered when wanting a better life for their family – that doing it illegally might have consequences down the road. I guess that is the risk they take. And I disagree with the sentiment that “we are guilty as well.” There may be illegal immigrants here who haven’t been deported, but that doesn’t make illegal immigration okay.

JLeslie's avatar

@Allie I am not saying it is ok. Again, I support tightening up our boarders. I think we are looking the other way if there is no requirement for the kids to be legal to go to elementary school. It’s a horrible catch 22, because if they are here in this country, we want them to be educated, but then we educate illegal immigrants if we don’t throw them out. If we check their immigration status, the parents might not enroll them in school.

Certainly we know where many many illgeal immigrants live and work, and the country seems to ignore a lot of it.

So your solution is tell the just graduated 18 year old to go back to Guatemala? Seems unrealistic, none of them are going to do it. If they are here don’t you think it better they are legal?

Allie's avatar

@JLeslie “If they are here don’t you think it better they are legal?” Yes, absolutely… so become a citizen legally before you come to this country.
“So your solution is tell the just graduated 18 year old to go back to Guatemala?” Unfortunate as it may be, yes. And then to apply for citizenship legally. My guess is those that don’t do it are probably not the ones applying to college and state-paid financial aid like CalGrants.

JLeslie's avatar

@Allie But, if you are ok with them becoming legal, why not just have the Dream Act so those particular kids can become legal without going back to a country they never really knew? That’s the part I don’t get? I would think people against the Dream Act, are against the children becoming legal period.

Allie's avatar

@JLeslie It sounds too much like a hand out to me. Like, “Oh, you’ve been here a while, sure, just stay, and we’ll pay for your college too.” College-bound kids who are citizens need financial aid too, especially here in California where tuition rates increase every year (thank goodness for the UC Regents preventing Yudof from raising them any more, for now). So the pool that American students’ parents have paid into – and even they may have paid into – as working, taxpaying citizens gets used to fund the education of non-citizens? I’m very against that.
I was talking with a friend about this earlier and she says that in a way it may promote illegal immigration. Kind of like, “Come here illegally, stay a while, and we’ll make you a legal citizen anyway. And we’ll pay for college too!”

JLeslie's avatar

@Allie They wouldn’t be citizens just legal. Funding their educaion is almost a separate issue to me. I have so many issues about tuition, and school loans and grants, not sure I want to go down that tangent right now.

Allie's avatar

@JLeslie It’s opening the door to eventually make them citizens. “Dream Act supporters have said they also will push for illegal immigrants to become eligible for driver licenses, a next move in a bid for full U.S. citizenship for illegal immigrants. [...] The point of the Dream Act is not to give financial aid to a few students but to create political momentum in Washington for amnesty for all illegal immigrants.” (source) I especially like how they say the point of the Dream Act isn’t to give financial aid to illegal immigrant students…. So they’re just tossing that in as a bonus?

JLeslie's avatar

@Allie Yes, a path to citizenship, but they wouldn’t be citizens for probably at least 11 years. I think my husband had to wait 5 years having green card status to apply for citizenship, and the link given in the original question says it would take them 6 years to get permanent residency. I am not clear what the Dream act is getting at regarding financial aid to be honest, so I am open to hearing more about specifically would be available to the people who could fall under the Dream act regarding financial aid. For me, I just want them to be able to be legal.

Allie's avatar

@JLeslie I think we’re talking about two different parts of the act. You seem to be more focused on the legality of them being here. I have no problem with people becoming legal citizens when it’s done the correct, legal way. I do have a problem with families coming here illegally, sending their kids to public schools, and now being awarded financial aid for public universities. I’m betting the families living here illegally aren’t paying into federal or state taxes for those education programs – K-12 or college level.
As for the financial aid portion of the act, I think I read somewhere a brief statement (and literally, it was only a line or two) about how illegal immigrant students wouldn’t be considered for financial aid until all legal students had been considered/awarded aid or grants. My opinion is this: If tuition keeps increasing and more and more students are having a hard time paying for school, then why not increase the amount awarded to the legal students?

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther