Dream Act or Nightmare Act?

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The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act of 2011, proposes to allow children of undocumented immigrants that were brought to the United States before their fifteenth birthday who have lived in America for at least five years straight to apply for permanent residency once they graduate from high school or achieve a GED. Conditionally, these children must be admitted into a college and complete a two-year degree or serve two years in the military. They must also be free of criminal convictions and have an honorable character. In addition, the DREAM Act would reverse current law to allow states to provide taxpayer subsidized in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants. An estimated 1.1-2.1 million illegal aliens would be eligible to receive DREAM Act amnesty. The DREAM Act would not just affect immigrants though; it would harm Americans as well. As long as someone is here illegally, no matter how that came to be, they should not be entitled to remain here, much less receive a college degree using financial aid which should only be provided for US citizens or those that entered the country legally. The DREAM Act should not be approved due to the negative effects it would have on America’s economy, education, and future of immigration. Due to the lack of funds coming in from illegal immigrants, the DREAM Act would have a negative effect on America’s economy. The Democratic Party continues to push the passage of the DREAM Act despite the fact that this costly legislation will make a difficult job market worse, place a higher tax burden on Americans, and ensure greater difficulty in balancing budgets on the state and federal level. Granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens will make it even more difficult for unemployed Americans to find work. With the unemployment rate at 9.8 percent, the last thing American job hunters need is millions of DREAM Act amnesty recipients competing with them for work. The DREAM Act does not provide federal funding to cover these costs, meaning Americans will be required to pay higher taxes and higher tuition rates. Not including other forms of financial assistance they may receive such as student loans, work study, or any other taxpayer-provided assistance that college students often receive, each illegal immigrant who attends a public institution will receive a tuition subsidy of nearly $6,000 for each year he attends. The tuition subsidy alone will cost taxpayers $6.2 billion a year (Camarota). Supporters argue that the DREAM Act will allow illegal immigrants to pay a substantial amount in taxes, helping to improve the American economy. While not contributing any taxes of their own, the immigrants are free to use hospitals and public school services, costing American taxpayers. The DREAM Act will ultimately have a negative overwhelming impact on education systems. Since the DREAM Act does not provide funding to states and counties to cover imposing costs, the act’s passage will require tuition increases, tax increases to expand enrollment, or a reduction in spaces available for American citizens at these schools (Camarota). About half a million new alien students are estimated to enroll in public institutions soon after the DREAM Act is passed, with another half million enrolling over the next decade and a half (Camarota). The United States would be rewarding undocumented immigrants and be taking education spots away from well-deserving American students, making it more difficult for them to obtain financial aid and or scholarships. Steven Camarota adds in his article "Estimating the Impact of the DREAM Act" that tuition hikes will be difficult for students because many Americans already find it difficult to pay for college, as research indicates that one-third of college students drop out before earning a degree and costs are a major reason for that dropout rate. Lawmakers need to consider that the DREAM Act will create strains and negatively affect...
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