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Every year tons of kids around the United States numbering almost 65,000 are born into the hands of individuals that are undocumented. Life goes on and those children grow to be illegal immigrants themselves. They don’t have a choice but to remain undocumented and spend their entire lives suffering the consequences. The DREAM Act, or better known as (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) is trying to get rid of the above standing issue. Yes, while it might seem unreasonable to enact this legislation based on cost, Congress should pass along the DREAM Act to assist those who fall short at the hands of illegal immigration.
If approved, the motion will help guide and maintain a level on citizenship status, boost the US economy in more ways we can count, and even expand education and military enrollment. This is not to say that any and all illegal immigrants can receive these benefits through the DREAM Act, there are certain requirements that need to be met and overall standards of qualification.
Young adults are required to fall under the age of 16 at their entry into the United States, lived within US territory for a consecutive number of five years continuously, and completed their GED or high school graduation. “Good behavior” is also a key factor. To have kept a clean record and moral standing amongst government and authority officials, free of crime and bloodshed.
A conditional ranking is a legal citizenship in the United States for 6 years straight, using 2 of those years to enroll in military forces or attend college.
Still, remaining morally upright in the eyes of society, refraining from any wrongful and criminal behavior and passing given background checks. Lastly but certainly not least, every individual applying under the DREAM Act must pay their own application fees to process the application through US customs. One application is responsible for one individual, relatives and friends do not follow or fall under given opportunities until said person has applied for themselves. However, there are several cases where individuals can request the entrance of their parents or siblings because they stand as immediate blood relatives. According to Miranda (2010), “DREAM Act beneficiaries would only be able to petition for entry of their parents or sibling if they have satisfied all of the requirements under the DREAM Act. Even then, they would be subject to the same annual caps waiting periods in order to petition for their relatives; the bottom line is that it would take many years before parents or siblings who previously entered the country illegally could obtain a green card.” (pg.3). As it might seem easy to draw up a stereotype for immigration, there are many beyond the view that can benefit from the legislation of the DREAM Act, Kerwin & Warren (2018) studies found that: “More than 2.2 million US residents would qualify for conditional residence under the DREAM Act…found in large numbers (5,000 or more) in 41 states and more than 30 counties, metropolitan areas, and cities… recipients have lived in the United States for an average of 14 years.
Many of the DREAM Act-eligible are highly skilled and credentialed. 70,500 are self-employed… 392,500 have US-citizen children, and more than 100,000 are married to a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. Twenty-nine percent has attended college or received a college degree. The DREAM Act-eligible include 50,700 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients from El Salvador, Haiti, and Honduras, 45 percent of whom live in the Miami metro area, Los Angeles County…” (pg. 2). Millions of people who would help contribute to the U.S economy paying taxes are legalized citizens after they are able to work under and hold up professional job positions. The beneficiaries would also be able to make investments in the economy for themselves, such as opening personal bank accounts, buying and selling stocks, even opening their own businesses that help provide future job opportunity for others. In line with Benefits of the DREAM Act, (2009) “Newly legalized students would earn more and pay more in taxes… amounting to an annual fiscal benefit of over $9,000 per person every year, money that can be used to pay for the education of others”. Not all Americans are as enthusiastic to pass the DREAM Act.
In fact, no matter how much research and evidence that there is on the bettering of the economy, many strongly believe that it will cost taxpayers too much money. They call it an “open invitation to fraud”, and the large possibly of legalizing serious criminals. Given the concern, most of the population that makes up illegal immigration fall under a very low-income group, therefore it's more than expected that they attend low income or state and government-supported schools. The Center for Immigration Studies, Camarota (2011) has come to an estimation: “The costs to taxpayers would be nearly $6,000 for each year an illegal immigrant attends a public institution of higher learning. We estimate a total cost in tuition subsidies of about $12 billion for the roughly one million illegal immigrants expected to attend state universities or community colleges…. obviously a significant cost for taxpayers in high illegal immigration states to absorb. These figures do not include the estimated 60,000 currently enrolled in public colleges.” (pg.1). About two million illegal immigrants that are eligible that would be granted the opportunity to apply for the DREAM Act jumping the cost double, $12 billion to a bit over $24 billion.
Adding onto those billions of dollars, he stated, “it would cost $48.6 billion to deport more than 2 million illegal immigrants who were raised in the U.S.” (Clark, 2010). It is at a loss for many who question why their taxes should go up in the effort to help illegal immigrants who crossed into the United States without proper documentation. Also, the demand for teachers and places to hold these individuals by pushing them into these paid private and public institutions will eventually if not immediately start an overcrowding in classrooms for illegal immigrants paying for their education out of their pockets. Eligibility for the DREAM Act only asks for two years of higher education after obtaining a GED or high school diploma. Profits for jobs that are held for the minimum of an associate degree are much smaller when compared to individuals who have their bachelor’s degree. It’s not a guaranteed thing every person under immigration will attend school for those two years, or that they’ll work towards getting their associates degree, which causes many to ask why they should put their money through taxes toward the education of illegal immigrants when they can simply direct the funds towards the education of U.S citizens. Preferential access to universities is also at an increase for illegal immigrants through the DREAM Act.
Minorities are most expected to enroll themselves in local or community colleges where no ranking or better known as affirmative slots would be taken. Attending paid public and private schools allows illegal immigrants to take up those affirmative slots, even take up scholarship opportunity because the number is ultimately limited. Aside from affirmative slots being taken, the DREAM Act opens a door for deception within the system and its organization. Camarota mentions, “First off, the law prevents prosecution for willfully providing false information”. If anyone is caught using a form of fake identification or documentation to apply for the DREAM Act, they will not be arrested or even punished for the matter, “Second, the law does not provide a clear list of acceptable documents that can be used to determine eligibility” (Camarota, 2011, pg.2). Immigration offices are extremely overwhelmed as it is, having the DREAM Act passed will only make the application process more difficult, there will be less time to determine who stands as a threat and who doesn’t. There is the potential risk of the United States openly allowing criminals to go to school, have a paid education when they aren’t supposed to be within legislation at all, according to Camarota (2011); “Under the DREAM Act a person convicted of two misdemeanors could still be given legal status. In many states, misdemeanors include drunk driving, assault or even some types of sexual assault. Moreover, it is very common for people to plead to a misdemeanor even though they were charged with a felony” (pg.5). If passed and legalized, a greater number of undocumented individuals would cross the border into the United States expecting the advantages of the DREAM Act, which is more than understandable.
This legislation will give way to security and immigration specialists to narrow their focus onto those who have posted the nation with dangerous events and serious threats, especially with the war on drugs currently being prevalent in Mexico. This would include immigrants that are members of the drug cartel and gang affiliated organizations trying to cross the border and potentially harm the United States nation. Funds can then be used to deport those who immigrants who pose a threat instead of trying to deport and deny all immigrants that have crossed over illegally. The ones that view the DREAM Act for its potential make the lasting argument that passing the law promotes equality, which the United States is supposed to uphold to all its people around the nation. The DREAM Act passing legislation would help thousands, even millions of young adults who are brought into the United States as illegal immigrants looking for a better home and greater opportunity to prosper. Under the age of sixteen when they crossed over, of the American culture to speak English well; in some cases, even fluently. Depriving these young minds of the prosperity and security that the U.S. has to offer is simply punishment for something they cannot control; something left only in the hands of their parents to decide their fate. Without the DREAM Act, these children will not only be deported out of the U.S. but back into their birth countries, or worse, countries they are complete strangers too. This makes it physically impossible for these individuals to better their lives and gain financial stability in society without the legalization of the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act would also greatly affect and benefit the economy for the United States through the wages of higher education.
College Boards have been able to come up to an estimation that a high school graduate makes about 60% less than a college graduate does. Hedlund (2010) claims, “These students affected by the DREAM Act would prove they are contributing members of society… the citizenship would be earned. Also, a passage of this bill would help our economy… it would cost $94 billion to find and remove all 12 million illegal immigrants, according to CNN. A new study from the Center for American Progress reports that cost would now be $285 billion”. Allowing more individuals to obtain a higher education through the DREAM Act, gives them high paying jobs. Higher paying jobs mean high tax revenue. Tax revenue is the key factor that plays into boosting the economy throughout the United States.
Although there are many who believe the DREAM Act should not be passed for several argumentative reasons, the very reasons the DREAM Act should be passed prove to be more prevalent, completely outweighing any debate against it. It will cost taxpayers a larger amount than what they are used to, granted, beneficiaries will be obtaining higher education working towards getting college degrees. This, in turn, will help the economy tremendously. America will not only see a rise on paper but see a rise through the eyes of many who are given new job opportunities, bank accounts, personal businesses; even assisting military enrollment, cutting back any problems in the draft system to come.
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