Many argue that America has no culture. America does have culture- a strange but beautiful combination of the culture of thousands of immigrants who settle in the US annually. These immigrants have brought their culture to the US and in one way or another; they’ve made a change in the country, whether through economy, education, work, or the military force. Because immigrants continue to move to the US and because without them we would be a completely different country, immigration needs to be addressed through a comprehensible immigration reform soon; a reform that will especially affect our youth, being that they are our future generation and a reflection of our American ideals. In 2007, the Dream Act was introduced. The Dream Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act) offers legalization for illegal immigrants through education. This act will open up opportunities for a population that is essentially already American and who through their academic achievements and clean criminal records, have proven themselves able to be true responsible, active, intelligent, productive American citizens.
The only fact that distinguishes them is the title of being ‘undocumented’, however they are minors. They had no fault or say in their parents’ decision to migrate to the United States. Dr. Amelie Constant, a specialist in immigration issues and strong supporter of the Dream Act states, “Children should not be penalized for their parents’ actions. It is our duty as a nation to equip these children, to educate and train them. The bigger tragedy here is the idea of differing legal status within families, often splitting families apart”. The US has educated these children so why not open up opportunities for them to expand and enter universities, to work jobs that are in high demand, to have government positions. What good is there if they finish high school in the US yet all that awaits them is illegal jobs, discrimination, and time wasted. The chancellor at the University of California Berkeley and also a supporter of the Dream act, Richard Birgeneau, states “We’ve invested in these students for more than a decade, from kindergarten through high school. They’ve worked hard, and then they find the American dream is not readily available to them.
Our country needs these people. These are the kind of people who have made great and will continue to make great.” Some might argue that by passing the Dream act, we’d be rewarding their act of coming here illegally however that isn’t true- we’re rewarding their hard work and struggles despite being illegal and knowing that possibly their work won’t be acknowledged. One way to become legal is through marrying an American citizen, however through education, the US could be benefited in the economy and the military sector. The parents of these students were unhappy with their native country and saw America as a land of opportunity for both them and their children.
America should admit we need them- they are willing and open to take any job that most Americans would shy away from, such as in the fields. Currently, the army is also in need of soldiers who have graduated from high school, are determined, and knowledgeable of the military procedures. Immigrants who follow the Dream Act can be the solution. Would we rather have uneducated and undisciplined American soldiers or educated, trained, and prepared Mexican American soldiers or Asian American soldiers?
Senator Dick Durbin states, “Those young men and women, given a chance to serve in the military, will be citizens of this country someday who will make an important contribution, as all of our veterans do. Those who choose to go to college are on a path to becoming tomorrow’s doctors and nurses and researchers and businesspeople–the kind of energy every society needs and the kind of energy that has built this great country we have today.” Our society will be complete and will improve if we give this opportunity to undocumented students.