The Dream Act: Development, Relief, and Education of Alien Minors

Topics: Illegal immigration to the United States, Immigration to the United States, Illegal immigration Pages: 5 (1723 words) Published: December 5, 2013
The Dream Act was first introduced to the US Congress in August 2001 under President George W. Bush’s first term. This act which stands for Development, Relief, and Education of Alien Minors has become a major stepping stone for the long debated issue of immigration reform. It wasn’t until mid-2012 under President Barack Obama’s first term that legislature similar to The Dream Act actually came to fruition. Legislation known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) grants those persons who were brought to this country illegally while they were under the age of 16 and who were under age 31 when the policy took place, have no criminal record, and are willing to go to college or serve the US military the right stay in this country without the fear of facing deportation during the next two years. The issue of immigration in particular illegal immigration has been a controversial topic our government has argued on a variety of perspectives. This issue has been long debated from the perspective of national security to jobs, economy as well as human rights violations. The reality is that this country was built upon the hard work and dedication of immigrants, and while it continues to remain welcoming to immigrants from around the world the issue of illegal immigration in particular after the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001 have only made the debate on immigration reform that much more difficult. While advocates of The Dream Act and other legislation such as DACA argue that those who arrived to this country illegally while still a minor should not be penalized for their parents actions and/or decisions to bring them to the US, those who oppose the act claim that allowing those very same minors the opportunity to study and serve the US military are taking those same opportunities away from current US citizens. Regardless of which side you find yourself standing on the issue of illegal immigration is a very real one, and one that must continue to be addressed. Throughout this report I will highlight some of the social service and human rights needs currently facing this demographic group within our communities. It is my plan of action as a social worker and concerned community member to become an active advocate alongside state representatives and law makers to ensure that comprehensive immigration reform is passed while addressing the social service and human rights needs highlighted. Without advocates getting involved in the process true positive change can not be had especially when it comes to this complicated subject of immigration reform. According to the article The American Dream by Barbara Krasner currently there are approximately 11 million illegal or undocumented immigrants in the US. This figure continues to grow as US border patrol agents miss approximately 1,000 people daily who cross the border illegally. While personally I agree that our country must secure our borders in the interest of national security, I also believe that comprehensive immigration reform legislation should be passed to address the social complex needs facing those that are currently here. Legislation such as DACA only helps provide a temporary solution to a much greater problem facing our society. Out of the approximate 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the US it is expected that only 2 million will qualify for the DACA policy leaving 8 million illegal immigrants unaddressed. Without the proper implementation of a plan to better secure our borders the issues regarding illegal immigration will continue to act as a revolving door for generations to come. Once a minority population the US Hispanic/Latino population has grown to what is projected to become the US majority group by 2015. As can be seen during the past few presidential elections this demographic group highly persuaded campaigns and election results. When it comes to the issue of immigration reform the US Hispanic/Latino population has been a driving force...
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