Dream Act Compromise For Immigrant Youth
Imagine your father and mother were involved in a criminal enterprise. They got caught. There is a price to pay. The family is plunged into crises. Well wishers advise the children to move on with their own lives and forgive their parents.
In the case of the children of undocumented workers, conservative voices are not satisfied with forcing the parents to pay consequences. They insist upon leveling punishment upon a generation of young people who have done nothing more than cry when there is nothing to eat.
A five-year-old child can’t cross a border illegally because he is incapable of understanding what a border is in the first place. He lacks what is known in the law as the Mens Rhea, the guilty mind. Many undocumented youth have no memory of making the trip at all, even though hundreds of people die in the desert each year. The question is, how can it be fair to impose a penalty upon a child whose parent has broken the law? How is it fair to impose a penalty on innocent youth? That is precisely what is occurring with the children of undocumented workers.
Currently, when the child of an undocumented worker graduates from high school, his future is dubious. Most colleges won't accept him. Later, if he is able to get a college education, he can't use the degree. He does not have the documents. Nor can he serve in the armed forces at a time when the country may place a call for young people to put their lives on the line for the United States. It is clear we are not prepared for a war with North Korea if it comes to it.
The Dream Act provides a narrow exception in immigration law for the approximately 65,000 college age children of undocumented workers in the U.S. In essence it says, we, the American People, will make you a deal. If you go to college or serve your country in the military, then we will grant you status as a permanent resident.Continued on the next page