You know I’ve got a soft spot for immigrants and another for students, so forgive me if I wax saccharine or pamphleteerish. Senator Reid says the DREAM Act will come to a vote next week, as part of a defense bill.
What is the DREAM Act, you ask? Well, it’s an immigration bill, of sorts. And an education bill, of sorts. And a military bill…again, of sorts. Basically, it allows kids whose parents brought them here illegally the opportunity to become citizens if they serve in the military and receive an honorable discharge or finish a college degree. This all must be done over a six-year period.
And don’t think for a second I’m trying to “pack colleges full of illegals.” Of course not, Jane; DREAM establishes this requirement to ensure the bona fides of applicants. College without financial aid is hard; it’s hard enough with aid, frankly. Furthermore, the college education will ensure these young people can make a living and pay back into the system (at least, as much as anyone can these days.)
I’m sure your son will get a fair shot to get into Harvard. DREAM doesn’t guarantee places at schools or promise financial aid at the expense of other students. Rather, it sets up a series of (rather difficult) hoops for young people to jump through. A student must either pay thousands of dollars or serve at least two years in the military and maintain “good moral character” – no crimes, etc.
While I know migration is kind of off the radar, let me assure you that this bill is very important – to the country, and to me personally. 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school annually; that’s a lot of talent and potential tax money, wouldn’t you agree? Also, punishing children for crossing borders is unwarranted. Deporting them to countries they may not know would be an enormous waste. And considering their options, why shouldn’t they be given opportunities to serve their country?
For my own part, I’m a natural-born citizen with many, many friends who are both documented and not. And I want them to succeed. My parents made a living (if a precarious one) here, and I’d like to see the bright people I work with get a fair shake.
If you’d like to help, call the two Senators from Utah and Scott Brown of Massachusetts at the following numbers:
Salt Lake: (801) 524-4380
Provo: (801) 375-7881
St. George: (435) 634-1795
Salt Lake: (801) 524-5933
Provo: (801) 851-2525
St. George: (435) 628-5514
Boston: Phone: (617) 565-3170
DC: (202) 224-4543
Comment if you want a particular senator’s contact information and I will include it here.
Always good to hear from you; I apologize if my break into politicking seems distasteful, and thank you for bearing with me. I remain, as ever,