Monday, July 28, 2008

Where's the DREAM Act?

Mary Ann Zehr of the Learning the Language blog also writes that Federal officials have told North Carolina officials that it's up to states to decide if they want to enroll undocumented students in public colleges and universities. That message paves the way for North Carolina's community college system to reverse a policy announced in May that barred undocumented students from community colleges. Click here.

This is fine, but we really need to have the DREAM Act passed, so that these students can be legalized.


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The DREAM Act is bad public policy.
The benefits of legalizing illegal alien minors is heavily outweighed by the incentives to future illegal immigration.
As immigration advocates, we must pursue public policies that are good for the United States and the major immigrant exporting countries.
Professor Hing is guilty of fuzzy-thinking on this issue.
How is it good for Mexico that many of its most talented young people are lured from Mexico to the United States?
Why is it a good thing for the United States to educate another country's young people, when U.S. schools are already underperforming?
I thought this forum was going to offer new and innovative ideas and not simply parrot the many other immigration blogs.

James Williamson
Student Affairs/USCIS Liason
Jackson Community College
Jackson, Mississippi

Posted by: James Williamson | Jul 28, 2008 9:48:52 AM

While I respectfully defer to Mr. Williamson’s working knowledge of the academic system, I must disagree on a few of his fundamental arguments that relate to immigration, and more specifically the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act, in and of itself, should not be looked upon as an isolated provision, but as a part of a greater whole, that being comprehensive immigration reform. While it is true that the Act itself, without the additional and all encompassing reforms inherent in a comprehensive immigration reform bill, such as the STRIVE Act, could be construed as to possibly be, “incentives to future illegal immigration.” However, that being said, this is but one of numerous examples of why the piecemeal approach to immigration reform is counter productive and extremely ill advised.

If, we were to include the DREAM Act as part of a greater enforcement and legalization reform, one could argue that this, or for that matter any of the legalization provisions, would not have a measurable effect on future illegal immigration, because the enforcement and biometric identification provisions of the STIVE Act, et al, would serve as a legal and physical barrier that would render the desire of potential migrants to enter illegally to be moot.

Mr. Williamson correctly points out the infrequently mentioned fact that “people are lured from Mexico to the United States.” This is a key to the moral arguments inherent in the argument for reform. The United States acted in concert with the migrants by luring them here, and enticing them into what I perceive to be a “co-dependant” relationship of cheap labor and needed workforce productivity. This fact is fundamental in our shared liability for their general welfare, is it not?

Mr. Williamson asks the question, “How is it good for Mexico that many of its most talented young people are lured from Mexico to the United States?” I would respectfully suggest that perhaps it is not the most talented that are lured here, but in fact the most ambitious. However, neither the most talented nor the most ambitious leaving Mexico is good for Mexico in the long run, but, given Mexico’s current economic instability and weakness, perhaps their need for remittances outweighs their need for ambitious workers.

Lastly, a full reform package that includes English language provisions will, in the long run, aid in the assimilation, and arguably the academic performance of the migrant’s children. By being able to help and encourage their children toward their mastering of the English language, as well as their homework/schoolwork, it would benefit everyone. It would benefit the immigrant children to complete their studies more efficiently, with an eye toward graduation, and it would help the non-immigrant children, by enabling teachers to increase the pace of the classroom curriculum for all children.

Giving everyone that is living here an equal opportunity to succeed, increases the value and quality of life for all of us. The DREAM Act is not a “pipe-dream.” However, passing it in and of itself diminishes it’s potential.

Posted by: Robert Gittelson | Jul 28, 2008 5:53:43 PM

"Mr. Williamson correctly points out the infrequently mentioned fact that “people are lured from Mexico to the United States.” This is a key to the moral arguments inherent in the argument for reform."

They're no more lured to the U.S. than bank robbers are lured to banks they rob. Put the blame on the bankers? I don't think so. No, if these people are lured by unscrupulous employers, the citizens of this country have no moral obligation to respect any contract they consequently make in our name. In order for a contract to be valid, it must fall within the boundaries of the law. Our laws say that employing illegal aliens is a violation of our immigration laws, so any such contract is null and void in the eyes of the law. The citizens should not fall into the snare of the Chamber of Commerce and accept the responsibility for illegal employment done by its members. Moreover, these illegal aliens are not innocent children, but adults who are well aware of the consequences of their actions.

Git, we as citizens are not responsible for your illicit hiring practices and the ploys of your kind in attempting the establishment of a collective guilt. Most Americans are too intelligent to believe this crap, so your efforts are doomed to failure.

Posted by: Horace | Jul 29, 2008 7:53:35 PM

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