THE PRICE OF A DREAM
In the streets of Philadelphia, you see the masses of sign carrying Latino youths chanting “Unafraid and unapologetic”. A year earlier, you see them wearing brown shirts in San Francisco in front of Senator Feinstein’s office chanting for this act. They are chanting they aren’t not illegal but people, while having their faces paintedlike an Aztecs and giving pleas about how they are people just like us and they deserve the same chance to excel. Whether they are wearing pristine graduation robes in New York or some type of garment from the American Flag. All across the country, these children all want the Dream Act. They can have a dream, but not all dreams come true.
The Dream Act (Development, Relief and Education for AlienMinors) is an act that keeps going through the senate and house, but gets rejected at some level. Some states have picked it up, even President Obama wants to nationalize, but it has yet to come true. You may wonder what this act is and what the problem is. You have to look at the history of this act that starts back in 2001.
S.1291 would of given the Attorney General the authority withillegal young adults who met certain criteria to cancel the removal or deportation of them. They requirements at this time were as follows:
i. Were at least 12 years of age when this bill was passed.
ii. Filed an application before the age of 21.
iii. You were here for at least 5 years after this law went into effect.
iv. Person is of “good moral character”.
v. According toImmigration and Nationality Act, not deportable for specific grounds of crimes committed.
It also allowed the Attorney General to extend this act to those who jumped on this within 4 years of the bill passing and for those in “Higher Education”. The last part of the act is what got the controversy started. It empowered the Attorney General to allow the illegal alien to apply for a permit tocancel their deportation as well as expediting their application processing (without fees) and it kept their information confidential.
Thankfully, this bill never achieved victory. It had backing, and at different times reasserted itself. However, it wasn’t until 2007 that it was given any serious consideration. At first, it got killed because it didn’t remove a 1996 bill that states hadto provide in state tuition to illegals. Then, a man named Richard Durbin, a senator from Illinois decided to attach it to the 2008 Department of Defense spending bill.
To make it more sellable, he moved up the age cap to 30 and took any references to in state tuition and sold it as a recruitment tool for the military to use. The military loved it because it gave them numbers, but it wasdoomed to fail because of the charges of amnesty granted to the bill. The bill couldn’t break through to even start debating on it because the needed 60 votes. Thankfully they only received 52.
In 2009, 8 senators reintroduced the bill. They were Harry Ried (D-NV), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mel Martinez (R-FL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), JosephLieberman (I-CT), Russ Feingold (D-WI) and US Representative Howard Berman (D-CA). Proponents of this act were optimistic because of the election of President Barrack Obama and the Democrat majority in the house and Senate. However, with the rise of unemployment and other issues, this bill failed for a time. Mainly, democrats went to the right side of the aisle and this bill was scrapped for now. President Obama expressed his disappointment and promised to continue to fight for this bill to come to fruition.
In 2010, this fight got ugly! Senator Harry Reid attached an amended version of the dream act to repeal of DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL reform. The new requirement of the 2010 dream act is as follows:
1. You have 10 years to finish these requirements following the passage of the...