Every year thousands of students graduate from high school, looking forward to attending college or just the future in general. Some may have already chosen their path, and other may have only just started exploring their options. No matter which category they fall under, they are all dreaming big. However, there are thousands of students who will not attend college; the children of illegal immigrants.
These people have limited future plans all because of their parent’s good intentions. the Dream Act, having been a controversial topic for many years, has yet to be made law. Some may say that this act violates federal laws, but others think it is following the same ideals that this country was built on. This act grants alien minors temporary legal status, giving those eligible the ability to work and get a job.
It also provides a pathway to citizenship to those who had no say in their legal status, seeing as they were brought to America at such a young age. Many believe that creating an easy way for immigrants to become citizens is unnecessary, claiming that they take jobs that could otherwise be given to true American citizens, or that, because they have such little education, wages for certain jobs are being lowered for both immigrants and Americans.
On the other hand, many believe immigration actually fuels our economy through the improvement of employment, productivity, and income. Although some may believe the Dream Act will encourage more incessant illegal immigration, the Dream Act is a gateway to gain citizenship for those who lived in America their entire lives, and is also a major step in giving the ability to work while preventing threats of deportation: granting peace of mind to a significant number of people.
Immigration is an extremely vexed topic, seeing as there are many opposing sides. Many believe that immigration acts such as this are unnecessary and take away opportunities from true American citizens, but there are many ways that the Dream Act can be a positive contribution to society.
The Dream Act stands for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, and, as stated by the National Immigration Law Center, “the DREAM Act would permit certain immigrant students who have grown up in the U.S to apply for temporary legal status and to eventually obtain permanent legal status and become eligible for U.S. citizenship” (www.nilc.org).
This shows that the Dream Act is truly a pathway to citizenship for all illegal immigrants brought to America as children and who should be given a chance. A similar policy is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which allows children who were brought to the country illegally to have “temporary lawful status”, seeing as they receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation, which allows them to work and find a job. Due to the fact that the Dream Act has not been made into law, these immigrants are now required to renew their visa every two years in order to not be at risk of deportation.
This past September, however, President Trump raised concern from the Dreamers when he announced his cancellation of the DACA program, meaning all illegal immigrants who are able to stay in the country because of this program are now in danger of deportation (http://nymag.com). Many also believe that it is not necessary to put the Dream Act into place if we already have the DACA program. The Democrats have been unsuccessfully trying to get this act passed for 16 years; some think it is futile and they should instead reinforce the DACA program.
This, however, is the wrong way to approach the situation. Seeing as President Trump plans on canceling the DACA program, and so there will be nothing left to protect immigrants against deportation. The Dream act can make a difference in America and change things for the better. This act prevents the threats of deportation, which is positive because these people have little to no family in the countries they came from, so deporting them would result in them being ripped from the only life and family they know.
This just shows that it is unfair to deport those who have lived in America their entire lives; those who were brought here as children without a say, who’s family is here, and those who want to stay in America to better their lives. Not only is this unfair to those who have grown up here and have nothing and no one to turn to in their homelands, but it also allows law enforcement to focus their attention on more pressing issues.
Dreamers must pass a background check in order to qualify for temporary legal status, and so they are confirmed to have no criminal background. Rather than wasting time and funding on tracking down these immigrants who are of no harm to American citizens, the law enforcement can focus on more major problems, seeing as the United States experiences, on average, 10,000 homicides per year. (https://vittana.org).
This proves that the Dream Act will have a positive impact on American society, seeing as it is more fair to let those who have lived here their whole lives have a chance at proving they belong here, and also saves time and money while allowing law enforcement to focus on the more pressing matters at hand.
Immigration can have a large impact on the economy, which is a major reason as to why many people are against the Dream Act. Some may say that immigration hurts the economy, but it can actually improve the economy in many ways.
For example: “If those who oppose immigration were correct, then Japan, an immigrant-unfriendly country, should be an economic juggernaut. It is not. Japan is facing an economic and demographic crisis” (www.forbes.com). Japan is a perfect example of the negative effect of little to no immigration. While the country has the world’s oldest and purest population, many of the workers are old and worn out. Immigration can increase the number of workers which in return will increase the Gross Domestic Product, resulting in an increase in the economy.
Also, rather than illegal immigrants being paid off the books and having to give no money back to the government, the Dream Act allows the immigrants to safely make money and get a job, while also giving back to the United States government and economy. It is also proven that, due to the many immigrants who have become entrepreneurs, Americans actually gain more from companies run by immigrants. Many immigrants have become very successful and have made a huge impact. As stated in an article by Stuart Anderson:
“Immigrant Noubar Afeyan, CEO of Flagship Ventures, founded or cofounded 38 companies in the United States and has over 100 patents. Indian-born immigrant Jyoti Bansal is the sole founder of AppDynamics, a company employing more than 900 people and valued at $1.9 billion.” (www.forbes.com).
The list of immigrants who have had huge economic success goes on and on, and so without immigration the united states would experience less innovation, success, and overall the economy would receive a horrific blow.
Not only does immigration lead to an increase in the workforce or an increase in entrepreneurship, but it also leads to an increase in human capital. Many high-skilled immigrants contribute to the economy and therefore increase innovation and productivity. So, without the contribution of immigrants, the United States economy could very well dim in the long run, and therefore immigration can actually positively contribute to the economy.
It is highly believed that the Dream Act is a negative contribution to American society, and just overall unnecessary. Many see immigrants as job stealers who just cheat the system by not paying income taxes while still sending their children to the same schools as American citizens, or working at the same job as other citizens.
The main problem with this act is that some believe it will just lead to more illegal immigration, seeing as these people can just obtain a temporary legal status while they are here. As stated in an article by representative Lamar Smith, “Once they become citizens, illegal immigrants could petition for their parents to be legalized” (http://thehill.com).
This would then lead to an endless chain of immigrants coming into the country, while each group just brings over more and more people with them, therefore encouraging even more illegal immigration. It is also believed that allowing in so many immigrants (legal and illegal) with relatively little education reduces the wages and job prospects for Americans with little education. This then has a negative impact on the economy because the wages for american citizens with little education who can take these jobs are lowered as well.
Not only are the wages for these jobs lowered, but immigrants all together take these jobs away from American citizens with little education because they are willing to work for little amounts of money. This then leads to less jobs for American citizens who do not have the education for jobs that require a college diploma. (https://cis.org).
Also, immigration is frowned upon because many illegal immigrants work off the books and so they do not pay an income tax, therefore none of their money goes back into the economy and they are not increasing the Gross Domestic Product. As stated by Nolan Rappaport, “It would be more realistic to pass a bill that would just continue the DACA program for the current participants, but even that would fail if Trump will not sign it” (http://thehill.com/opinion).
This shows that rather than continue trying to get the Dream Act passed after many failed attempts, the government should instead build upon the DACA program, given that President Trump agrees to sign off on it. Overall, the Dream Act is believed to have many downsides and many believe that it should not be made into law.
The Dream act gives those who came to America as children a chance to stay in the country as adults. Not only is it fair to give them an opportunity to prove their worth, it also allows them to show what they can contribute to the American society.
Economically it is proven that immigration can cause large economic booms while increasing the workforce, productivity, and innovation. It also boosts the US economy because these immigrants do the jobs that no one else wants to do. Agricultural jobs are difficult and time consuming, but they provide income for these families.
Overall immigration fuels our economy and continues to help it flourish. Not only does it help the economy, but allowing the Dream Act to become law would help save time and funding for law enforcement to focus their attention on more important issues or crimes. While many people think that immigrants can do nothing but harm the country, they refuse to see all the different ways they can help the country as well. Not to mention that for most, if not all, of the children brought to america, this is the only country they know.
Deporting those brought here as small children would be like forcing to start their lives over again in a new world that is completely foreign to them. This seems inhumane and completely against what America stands for. In a country completely made up of immigrants, it is important to keep in mind what the founding fathers were looking to create: a place where all people are equal, a place where everyone has the chance to feel freedom.