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Should Congress Pass The Dream Act?: Left of Center View

Well, let's see here, the Dream Act is intended to help children who came to America illegally through no fault of their own and have lived here for most of their lives to be considered legitimate residents of the country. Should that pass? Well DUH! Who could possibly be against this other than raving lunatics and hardcore racists? Oh, that's right Republicans are against it because apparently they think little infant Jose should have told his parents to leave him behind because they were coming to America without getting papers first.

I can't think of a single legitimate reason the Dream Act should not have passed before the Democrats lost control of Congress. The Republicans would rather deny basic fair treatment to millions of people than let the Democrats have a "victory"on immigration reform. The arguments against the bill were beyond ludicrous. In all the discussion of anchor babies and economic ruin nobody on the Republican side mentioned once that only people with clean criminal records that pass a Homeland Security background check and then keep out of trouble for another decade and either serve in the military or go to college. These are not exactly things that would make the people in question drains on our economy.

It's time for America to acknowledge that we have millions of people that by no fault of their own are without legal status and have known no other life than as Americans. They have grown up in our neighborhoods, gone to school with our kids, washed our cars at PTA fundraisers and sat in the pews right next to us in church. These are not nameless faceless people. These are our and our kids' friends and neighbors. They are not some menacing threat to the future of our nation. They are just kids brought to America by their parents who now want to be recognized as being legitimate members of our society.

It's far past time to stop the blaming of immigrants for all of our problems. America is not some perfect jewel that is somehow being smudged by the filth of undocumented immigrants. Everyone is happy to save money on produce picked by migrant undocumented workers but nobody wants to acknowledge that without those migrant workers we would all pay more. Big companies love being able to hire janitorial firms on the cheap and don't ask questions about how those janitorial companies can offer such low prices but the minute you talk about letting some of their workers become legal residences they talk about how the hiring of "illegals" is destroying the economy. The hypocrisy is staggering!

We need to acknowledge that a lot of people who make our society function are not here legally and that we need them to keep things working. We also need to acknowledge that they have kids that should be allowed to see some benefit from the hard work of their parents. The kids didn't ask to come here but they are here and have been here for a while now. We need to stop being a nation of self-absorbed hypocrites and let the kids that grew up and went to school with our kids have a chance at some sense of legitimacy. It's really the least we can do to make up for them having parents that had to work two and three jobs just to put food on the table because of their immigration status.


LJ Finstermore - World Citizen | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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Should Congress Pass The Dream Act?: Right of Center View

Now, normally I'm not a fan of amnesty but sometimes you have to be a little more open-minded when it comes to kids. As I understand the "Dream Act" it is designed to allow kids who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents certain ways to become citizens. When I read through the conditions it doesn't sound terrible. People who want to become citizens have to pass Homeland Security background checks and stay out of trouble. All in all it doesn't sound that bad.

I'm sure that some of my fellow conservatives will question my conservatism with this stand but I think it makes more fiscal sense than the current system. We are spending billions of dollars every year trying to hunt down and deport illegal aliens when we could be spending less by focusing on the troublemakers that really need to be gone sooner rather than later. If the people that fall under the "Dream Act" would have qualified for legal immigration and we know they are going to contribute to our society by getting a college education or joining the military then we can save the money we would have spent deporting them and free up resources to go after the gang members and drug dealers that need to be rounded up and kicked out.

Beyond making fiscal sense to focus our resources on the actual criminals invading our country it seems to me that it is kind of cold-hearted to go after kids for the crimes of their parents. When a parent packs up their kids and says the family is moving the kids don't really have a choice. The parents should absolutely be deported because they made a conscious choice to break the law. The kids should have some choice if they have lived most of their life in America whether or not they want to be Americans or return to their birthplace with their deported parents.

One thing that I would change in the "Dream Act" is adding a provision that would prevent the parents of children who qualify for the citizenship under the "Dream Act" from ever getting legal residency status unless they can prove that they would have qualified for political asylum when they first came to the U.S. In my view parents that involve their children in unlawful acts should be considered unredeemable under the law. They have chosen to not only become criminals themselves but also to make their children criminals at the same time.

I'm not sure that the "Dream Act" in its current form is the best bill that Congress can pass. Since it was killed during the lame-duck session that just ended there is an opportunity for the new Congress to retool the bill and pass something that makes more sense. We don't need blanket amnesty by any means but it's not a bad thing to let kids step out from the shadows of their parents' wrongdoing to pursue a productive life of their own. Hopefully the Republican led House and Democrat led Senate can come together and pass real immigration reform that secures our borders and makes sense for dealing with the people that are already here.

The Realist - Patriot at Large | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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