Los Angeles (Obama.net) – Now that President Barack Obama has finally settled the issues of extending the Bush era tax cuts for 2 years and extending the unemployment benefits for 13 months, the focus has now shifted to getting the DREAM Act passed. The full name of the new bill is the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act.
Already passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday; and if passed by the Senate, illegal immigrants in the United States who are either looking to go to college or to join the military would be given citizenship in America. Those eligible will be immigrants who came to America prior to turning 16 years of age and have been here for at least five years. In addition, to gain citizenship, the young men and women will also need to possess either a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate.
After that, a six year provisional citizenship will be awarded, under which those young adults will need to spend at least two years enrolled in college or in the military as well as stay out of trouble legally.
Arne Duncan, the Education Department’s Secretary, said quite simply that the DREAM Act is “the right thing to do for our country.”
Janet Napolitano of Homeland Security defended the bill on Wednesday. She made it clear that the young immigrants that would benefit from the passage of the DREAM Act “are not the individuals that are a threat to our public safety or our security.” She went on to say that in the United States, the laws on immigrations “have not kept up with our nation’s needs”.
There is no doubt that by allowing thousands of young, intelligent men and women go to college with the benefits of financial aid from the government and also to allow them to join the United States military will without a doubt increase the strength of the American economy and military defense.
Despite some resistance by Republicans, the DREAM Act is clearly the right thing to do for both the economy and military of the United States and to give young immigrants the opportunities they have earned through at least five years of academic success and showing “good moral character”.
While it may take six years for immigrants to gain full citizenship, during that time they will be able to gain a college education, a degree, and serve in the military. And thus, despite entering the United States illegally, those young men and women will be able to prove that they deserve to gain citizenship and earn it as well.