The Dream Act, which is formally known as the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, was introduced on May 11th 2011, both in the Senate and the House of Representatives. In the Senate, this act was spearheaded by Senator Dick Durbin who was supported by more than thirty two senators. Representatives Howard Berman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lucille Roybal were the brain child of the tax dream within the House of Representatives. These legislators came up with this act after witnessing numerous young people suffering the consequences of being in the country illegally. In essence, the immigration law was extremely water tight. As a result, it denied young people, who had finished secondary and college education, a chance to become legal American citizens. The immigration law only allowed young children to be rendered American citizens by virtue of their parents' citizenship. Therefore, if the parents lacked the legal documents, as citizens of the United States, it meant their children could not automatically be assumed as citizens. Basically, it meant that the mistakes of the parent trickled down to the child, as far as citizenship was concerned. The aforementioned senators and representatives had a view that such immigration laws deprived young people who grew up and studied in the United States of their rights. The Dream Act came up to cure such inconsistencies within the United States immigration department. The Dream Act allowed young children who had grown up in the United States access citizenship status, notwithstanding, the status of their parents, as far as citizenship is concerned.
Provision of the Dream Act
Basically, the Dream Act introduced two major changes within the immigration law of the federal government. First, it eliminated the federal provision that penalized state governments, which offered in-state tuition to immigrants (Greenblatt 98). The second tenet provided by the act was allowing young people who grew up, and studied in the United States to acquire temporal legal status as US residents. This would later be a stepping stone towards achieving full status as the US citizens. The citizenship could be obtained if a person went to the American college or served in the US military (Greenblatt 101).
Among the features of this act is that all students who came to the United States at the age of fifteen years and studied in the US would, through the Dream Act, get a chance to become legal citizens of the US. This is subject to their good behavior and clean record as far as crime is concerned (Sharron 48). Apart from that, all students with conditional residential status will access all privileges that any other American resident accesses. This means that they will be allowed to seek jobs; get study loans; and receive state financial aids. Such a conditional residential status will also count among residency requirements that lead to citizenship by naturalization. The act further states that the conditional residential status will be changed to regular lawful permanent resident status if the person avoided long stays away from the United States; if the person maintained a good record of behaviors, if the person served in the US military for not less than two years, and if the person studies for at least two years in a US college.
Negative Consequences that the Dream Act Is likely to Trigger
From the above highlighted provisions of the Dream Act, one would note that it is, indeed, prejudicial to the legitimate Americans (Sharron 63). It does not offer any kind of incentive that an American citizen shall look at and give a nod to the act. All the provisions stated under the act aim at providing a chance to immigrants to ameliorate their lives at the expense of American residents. Such provisions of the act have elicited hue and wry among the general population of the United States of America. Through the research, lots of responses were tendered regarding the Dream Act. On the general scale, few Americans lauded the provisions of this act. Its economic implications to the American society would be appalling. The law is more popular among the blacks compared to the whites. Also, the law seems to be popular among the democrats as opposed to republicans. This is evidenced by the Gallup poll report that was established at the time when the act was a bill. According to the report as promulgated on 12/10/2010, there was an overwhelming support of the bill by democrats. On the contrary, the support by republics was wobbly (Arnold 234). Equally, only 33 % of the whites supported the bill compared to 49% of non-whites who supported the bill. In general, the poll report makes it clear that supporters of the bill comprised 41%. Hence, it is unquestionably true that the Dream Act was not welcomed from its initial stages (Greenblatt 112).
One of the major negative impacts of the Dream Act is its reward to people residing in the United States unlawfully. It grants them automatic amnesty. It is a dream of many people to live in the United States (Perez and Solorzano 17). A number of reasons as to why many crave to stay in the US have been underscored. Among them is to get a secure life. The United States is perceived by many as one of the safest places to be. This is ascribed to the fact that civil wars and violence are limited. Thus, refugees flee to the US to have a secure life. Others come to the US for greener pastures. Jobs in the US offer good pay. Thus, they have attracted many people to immigrate to the US. In consequence, the immigration department has recorded a huge number of people who secretly get into the United States' jurisdiction. It is unfortunate that the Dream Act offers amnesty to such individuals. By simply enrolling in colleges of the US, they are accessed the benefit of getting citizenship notwithstanding their past felonies. This act, therefore, serves to encourage illegal immigration.
Apart from that, it sets a wrong precedent for future immigration activities within the federal government. The ultimate result of the act is distortion of the immigration process of the US (Perez and Solorzano 41). There are so many cases of illegal immigrants coming to the United States. Despite the increased surveillance of borders, the problem of people sneaking into the United States territory has persisted. Among the most notorious areas are the Southern parts of the US where people from Cuba and Mexico sneak into the United States at a regular basis. Many of them have been arrested and deported to their countries. Those who have been arraigned in court have cited the search for better living standards as a ground for their illegal immigration acts. Lucky ones who escaped the police dragnet managed to keep their positions and stay in the United States. Worse enough, a good number of them have gone ahead to join colleges in order to ride on the Dream Act provisions. It is so unfortunate that the Dream Act was enacted to provide a leeway for such illegal immigrants to smoothly acquire citizenship of the United States of America.
Immigrants come with both positive and negative effects. With regards to positive effects, they form cheap work force. There are those who are extremely hard working with the aims of ameliorating both their lives as well as their families (Alexander). This could be a positive aspect. However, it is worth noting that the negative impacts of immigration outweigh the positive ones. For instance, a regular inflow of immigrants increases federal, state and local government expenditures (Perez and Solorzano 36). Such expenses are due to the escalation of demands for various services in sectors such as health and education. For instance, when immigrants flow in, they expect the above governments to cater for their lives just like other residents of the United States. In any case, these people intermingle with citizens, and it makes it hard for the government to isolate them when allocating national resources. In most cases, such immigrants are undocumented. As a result, they hardly pay taxes that are instrumental for the running of the governments. Failure to pay taxes is regarded a crime in the United States. It is through taxes that both state and federal governments are able to raise revenue.
Thus, when undocumented people are allowed to live in the United States by virtue of the Dream Act, an extra burden is placed upon the federal government. The act concerns the in-state tuition. This is where states offer immigrants a chance to access education. As if that is not enough, this act requires states to offer study loans to immigrants. The one million dollar question is lingered; where will the state governments get money to cater for undocumented people studying in the United States (Sharron 54). More so, why should states accommodate people who are not making any substantial contribution to the economy of the nation? The skyrocketing living standard of the United States' population is basically attributable to such immigrants. The government is forced to meet the provisions of the Dream Act, yet it has no adequate funds. To achieve its goal, the government has imposed a heavy taxation burden to the American citizens. There is no escape route for the federal governments as far as the immigrants are concerned (Arnold 204). The Dream Act ties the hands of the government, and cajoles it to cater for the undocumented people in all aspects of life. There is nothing as discouraging as providing for someone who is not making any positive contribution to the economy of the nation. That explains why many taxpayers are condemning this Dream Act.
The pro-dream act persons argue that by allowing immigrants study in the US, gain citizenship and get employed, those immigrants will contribute a sum total of $1.7 billion dollar to the American economy in the next ten years (Dosunmu 38). This is a mere fallacy since there is no guarantee that such people will be employed. In the first place, the nation has got many citizens who are jobless. This is due to the unavailability of jobs. So, when they claim that the undocumented people will get jobs, where will these jobs come from? There is another assumption by "Dreamers" that the undocumented students can access study loans, which can be paid after they get employed (The Editors). They believe that cases of defaulting shall not emanate. This is a lie since there have been many cases where immigrants have totally failed to repay their study loans. With those overt chances that loans may not be paid, and that employment may not be obtained, the government risks to offer all services to such people as provided under the Dream Act. This is a gamble that is likely to hurt the economy of the nation in the long run (The Editors).
The Dream Act is an evil to the American children who are growing up. During the recession times, young Americans were the worst hit. From the year 2009, seventy percent of secondary school graduates have joined college. This means the level of competition for colleges has escalated. Apart from that, tuition fee has been doubled in order to meet the requirements of college education. As a result, there is an increased demand for in-state tuition fee as well as study loans. The matter is worsened when the Dream Act allows an uncontrolled inflow of undocumented young people to compete for the same limited resources among colleges in the United States. This is nothing other than creating trouble where there is already one (Alexander).
There are limited job opportunities in the United States. Instead of finding ways of trimming the number of people competing for jobs, the federal government has come up with the ways to see that more people are welcomed to scramble for the otherwise limited jobs. The American children are completing school, but there are no jobs for them. Yet, the Dream Act has come up with a strategy to let in more job seekers. This has caused more harm than good. Apart from that, there are cases where immigrants are lowering standards of some jobs in the US. Since their main goal is to make some dimes, they do not mind taking jobs for a low pay. As a result, highly qualified people are prejudiced since employers are going for the aliens who do not ask much pay for the services rendered. The ultimate part of this is unemployment for the Americans (Perez and Solorzano 24).
The Dream Act was enacted after much pressure had been directed to the federal government to consider the welfare of the undocumented people residing in the United States of America. Even though it could be considered a good course under the human rights provisions, its effect on the United States citizens has been undesirable. This is due to the prevailing negative impacts that are greatly eating into the Americans. Education has become expensive, medical services have been diminished in quality, and taxations have significantly risen; it is all in the name of the Dream Act. Many aliens have been accorded a simple way of getting the legal residence status of the United States. This has caused acrimony since many American born citizens are being sidelined by aliens who benefit from the Dream Act. One notes that the Dream Act has got no positive significance in the life of the American born citizen. This is why one would not welcome the provisions of the act.
Therefore, the discourse highlights the negative aspects that the Dream Act has or is likely to cause to the entire society of the United States of America. Through this discourse, one is accorded a chance to understand why the Dream Act should be abolished outright. The facts stated in this discourse are substantiated by the real life examples that emanate from the experiences that Americans are going through as a result of the Dream Act. Media houses and social forums have hinted the kind of negativity that is attached to the act. Numerous complaints from natives of the United States have been aired with regards to the Dream Act. Therefore, this research report covers a number of negative aspects associated with the Dream Act. We should not blame children for their parents' mistakes of bringing them to the United States. However, this should not be used as a leeway to exploit Americans. The federal government should find a better way to deal with the immigrants as opposed to shifting the burden of immigrants to legitimate citizens through the Dream Act, which heavily impinges upon Americans.