DREAM Act provides a pathway

to citizenship for undocumented

students who meet its requirements.


Joy, excitement and relief can describe the feelings of thousands of students who graduate each year, but those that are here unlawfully cannot say the same. They are left with the feeling of uncertainty, not knowing what to expect for their futures.

Approximately 1.5 million undocumented immigrant youths currently living in the United States are left without affordable education after high school, drastically limiting their success. The Florida DREAM Act should be enacted so that innocent and deserving students can pursue an affordable education and citizenship.

According to a study by The Urban Institute, 65,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools each year. About 5,000 of these students graduate in Florida, and only about 5 percent go on to get a college education.

Risking deportation for a better life, parents brought their children illegally, but without an opportunity at higher education, these children will be considered inefficient employees, forced to fall prey to a cycle of poverty.

The astoundingly low percentage of undocumented students pursuing a higher education is due to the sole fact that they cannot afford it. Currently, legislation states that unlawful or undocumented youths are required to pay out-of-state tuition in the state of their recent residence, which is three times more than in-state tuition.

The DREAM Act is a proposed legislation tailored to provide a path to legal residency for undocumented immigrant students who, to no fault of their own, were brought illegally into the country and received primary and secondary education in the U.S.

Those opposed to the bill assert it will reward illegal activity of immigrants through citizens’ tax money. In one way or another, parents of these children pay taxes through sales taxes everyday.

The proposed law is not without its conditions. Only after meeting the requirements specified in the introduction and completing two years of higher education or two years of military service will the student have six years to earn permanent residency status. These are attainable goals that require diligence and determination, qualities valued in citizens.
The DREAM Act will not grant citizenship to anyone and everyone, but provide a pathway to those who deserve a chance to reach their full potential in society. Therefore, only those who fulfill the requirements provided by the bill will be deemed qualified for citizenship, adding an educated and skilled asset to communities and the United States as a whole.

The aforementioned requirements needed to qualify for the DREAM Act not only help those who reap these benefits, but also the citizens in their surrounding communities, since students who would benefit under the DREAM Act have been raised and educated in the U.S. and local taxpayers have already invested in the education of these children in elementary and secondary school. With advanced college degrees, U.S. taxpayers will see a return on their investment.

Furthermore, the economy can benefit from an increase in educated immigrants with acquired skills, ultimately creating jobs and generating revenue. According to a December 2011 study from the American Enterprise Institute and the Partnership For New American Economy, every 100 foreign-born workers with degrees are associated with 262 jobs for native-born workers.

Today’s global economy requires an educated and skilled workforce capable of acquiring, creating and distributing knowledge. Passage of the DREAM Act will create a group of talented, multi-lingual and multi-cultural workers who will help America compete in the global market.
Unfortunately, the similar Florida DREAM Act, consisting of two proposals, was unable to gain ample support, as of Feb. 16, when it was voted down 4-3 in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Florida DREAM Act can ensure affordable opportunities to students who would become an advantage to our country. It is only viable to pass legislation that allows competent and deserving individuals to fulfill their DREAMs.


By admin

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