Children of Illegal Aliens Should Go to College and Gain Legal Status

What Rights Should Illegal Immigrants Have?, 2010 David Bennion is an immigration attorney at Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Many students graduate from U.S. high schools with undocumented status—that is, they are not legally permitted to reside in the United States. Many of them were brought to the United States as young children and have lived in America for most of their lives. Once they graduate from high school, there are few opportunities for them as they lack access to in-state college tuition or the legal ability to work. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act, would change this, offering undocumented youth the chance at legal resident status. These youths, or Dreamers, should be allowed to have the chance to stay in the country they call home. Periodically, a young person walks into my office for an initial immigration legal consultation, sometimes accompanied by a parent or other family member, sometimes alone. She speaks with an American accent and tells me how she attended local elementary, junior high and high schools. Perhaps she studied a year or two in college before dropping out for financial reasons or perhaps has only just graduated from high school. To all outward appearances, she is a typical American kid. So why would this young person be sitting in the office of a nonprofit immigration legal services agency like Nationalities Service Center? Because she is undocumented and has no existing remedy for obtaining legal status in the United States. She may even already be in removal (commonly known as deportation) proceedings. She may already have a final order of removal and a "bag and baggage" letter ordering her to present herself to immigration authorities on a date certain to be flown back to her country of birth. She may then be forced to leave behind U.S. citizen parents, siblings or a significant other. She may be exiled from the only country she has ever really known. Each year, about 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school in the United States. They then face often insurmountable barriers to pursuing further education or employment opportunities. Many colleges and universities will not permit them to enroll. Even if they are admitted, most financial aid is not available to them. In most states, they will pay prohibitively expensive out-of-state tuition rates, regardless of how long they have lived in the state. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act, is a bill pending in Congress that would provide [to undocumented youths who were brought as children] to the United States ... conditional legal immigration status, [if] they meet certain conditions.

To qualify for DREAM Act benefits, an applicant must: Have been brought to the United States before age 16. Have lived in the United States for at least five years. Be a person of good moral character (having not committed any serious crimes).

Dreamers mobilized their network to engage Sens. But thousands of Dreamers are deported every year. 1751) by Representative Howard Berman. lawyers. Online interactions could be anonymous and offered a safe place to talk and organize without fear. and Bill Nelson. they are talented.. D-Ill.Have been admitted to college or earned a high school diploma or GED [general education development degree]. Ad hoc efforts to stop individual deportations are difficult and do not address the underlying problem that the DHS has so far refused to provide a systemic temporary remedy while the DREAM Act is pending in Congress. Some want to serve their country abroad. These students have waited long enough to achieve their own American Dream. unaware of his undocumented as many had believed. The efforts of the grassroots DREAM Act movement are starting to have a visible effect. They are not sitting idly by.R. the bill is being packaged as a component of forthcoming comprehensive reform legislation. and in the Senate (S. D-N. Many do not speak the language of their home countries. While supporters believe the DREAM Act could pass if a vote were called now [August 2009]. Some of them were brought as infants or toddlers and cannot remember living anywhere else. Serve two years in the military or complete two years of college. Help them make their dreams a reality. Online mobilization translated into offline organizing. Dreamers found that they were not alone. Texas. In fact. Dream Act-eligible students. to successfully persuade the Department of Homeland Security [DHS] to defer the imminent deportations of two Dreamers. The DREAM Act was first introduced in 2001 but has not yet been passed into law. scientists.. scholars. They cannot imagine leaving the country they grew up in. In my experience. they cannot obtain legal status by joining the military.. their high school friends. among other states. The Dreamers In July. They connected in new online forums like the Dream Act Portal and Dreamactivist. The act enjoys growing bipartisan support but has become entangled in the broader immigration reform debate. The DREAM Act was reintroduced in early 2009 in the House (H. Dreamers are honor students and athletes. coaches and ministers. their teachers. one Dreamer in Missouri was arrested and placed in removal proceedings after attempting to enlist in the armed forces. These students have waited long enough to achieve their own American Dream. After the historic immigration marches in 2006 and the subsequent failure of Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. waiting for someone to pull them out of their nightmarish situation. as daily immigration home raids and record levels of immigration detention and deportation have continued well into 2009. Help pass the DREAM Act. They are aspiring schoolteachers.. for the first time that I am aware. doctors and social workers. incredibly engaged and deeply committed to the American nation and their local communities. and DREAM Act student groups have formed in California..729) by Senator Richard Durbin. mobilized as never before.J. Robert Menendez. or Dreamers. On the Internet.. Florida and New York. D-Calif. Contrary to conventional wisdom. D-Fla. Dreamers often cannot find employment because of their unauthorized status. .

Wheaton. 2008. Aviva Chomsky "They Take Our Jobs!": And 20 Other Myths About Immigration.Further Readings Books David Bacon Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants. New York: Simon & Schuster. "Illegalizing Illegals. ed. Border Security. William F. 2006. Johnson Opening the Floodgates: Why America Needs to Rethink Its Borders and Immigration Laws.-Mexico Border. 2007. MA: Beacon Press. 2006. . Alien. Swain. 2008. Dee. IL: Crossway Books. Hoffmeier The Immigration Crisis: Immigrants. Tom Tancredo In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America's Border and Security. Periodicals Sasha Abramsky "Gimme Shelter. November 3. Mark Krikorian The New Case Against Immigration: Both Legal and Illegal. Bill Ong Hing Deporting Our Souls: Values. 2007. 2009. David Bacon "Railroading Immigrants. Nashville. TN: WND Books. Chicago: Haymarket Books. New York: New York University Press. J. DC: Regnery. 2006. and the Bible." Nation. George R. News & World Report. Justin Akers Chacon and Mike Davis No One Is Illegal: Fighting Violence and State Repression on the U. Aliens. MA: Beacon Press. or Immigrant: The Politics of Immigration Reform. 2007. 2007. 2008. Boggs "Why Congress Should Revive the Dream Act. Nicolaus Mills Arguing Immigration: The Debate over the Changing Face of America." U. Debating Immigration. Carol M. Boston. 2006. James K. October 6. America "Migration. 2008. 2008." Chronicle of Higher Education. Buckley. Kevin R. Jr. 2007. Chicago: Ivan R. 2008. March 28. and the War on Terror. Jane Guskin and David L." January 7. Victor Davis Hanson. Washington. and Steven Malanga The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan than Today's. 2007. Morality.S. 2009. February 25. 2008. New York: Monthly Review Press. and Immigration Policy. 2007." Nation." National Review. Lina Newton Illegal. Heather Mac Donald. June 4. New York: New York University Press. the Larger Picture. New York: Scribner. 2007. New York: Cambridge University Press. Boston. New York: Cambridge University Press. Helen Thorpe Just Like Us: The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America.S.D. Hayworth Whatever It Takes: Illegal Immigration. New York: Sentinel. Michael Barone "Why Enforcement Matters. Wilson The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers.

Charles Scaliger "Avoiding Extreme Solutions. from "Undocumented Youths Organize to Pass DREAM Act. Summer 2009. May 8.. April 20. March 3. Kobach "A Sleeper Amnesty: Time to Wake Up from the DREAM Act." Legal Intelligencer 31 Aug. Web." New American. Beth Schwartzapfel "Held in Purgatory. 2013. Detroit: Greenhaven Press. Full Text: COPYRIGHT 2010 Greenhaven Press. Judis "Phantom Menace: The Psychology Behind America's Immigration Hysteria. March 3. July-August 2008. 2009. 2010. Ruben Navarrette. 2007. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Noël Eckstein "In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students: Not Quite Yet. 2008.heritage." New American.nationalreview. John F." Nation." Hispanic. September 29. www." Dallas Morning News. March 6. February-March 2009. 2007." What Rights Should Illegal Immigrants Have? Ed. Peter Schrag "Divided States. 2008. a part of Gale. 2008. October 31. and a Blow to a Business. Economist "Not Very NICE. Rpt. John B. 2007." Chronicle of Higher Education." BusinessWeek. Daniel Griswold "Immigration Law Should Reflect Our Dynamic Labor Market. 2009. David. February 13. 2008. Mark Krikorian "No Amnesty—Now or in Two Years.S. www." New Republic. Cengage Learning." New American. . Kris W. Washington Times "End the Dream. 2008. Nathan Thornburgh "Undocumented and Undeterred. Tom Knott "Dream Act Begins an American Nightmare. " Policy Analysis. News & World Report." Washington Times. 2008. 2008." Backgrounder #2069. February 1. Stephanie Mencimer "Texas Hold 'em: The Lucrative Business of Locking Up Immigrants." America." National Review Online." April 26." Time. September 13. October 1." October 24. William McKenzie "Why Dream Act Makes Sense for Illegal Immigrants—and Our Country." Ms. 2008. January 7. 2008. Larry Greenley "How to Fix Illegal Immigration. February 18. 2009. Emma Schwartz "A Bust." U." Dallas Morning News. Source Citation 2008. 2007. At Issue. John F." Mother Jones. March 10. 2008. Geri Smith and Keith Epstein "On the Border: The 'Virtual Fence' Isn't Working. March 3. October 11. April 27." CQ Researcher. 2009. 1 Feb. McManus "The Battle Against Illegal Immigration. "Children of Illegal Aliens Should Go to College and Gain Legal Status. Alan Greenblatt "Immigration Debate. 2008. Jim Harper "Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification: Franz Kafka's Solution to Illegal Immigration. Kavanaugh "Amnesty? Let Us Be Vigilant and Charitable. Jr. "Laws and Borders.

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