They say that, in politics, if no one’s happy, you’ve found a solution and I guess that that’s how I feel about the DREAM Act.
On the one hand, it seems clear to me that you just can’t treat a kid whose parents sneaked him here when he was a child the same way you treat a person who sneaks himself. It’s too broad a brush you’re painting with if, to you, those seem like the same problem.
And so, if someone’s been in this country since she was little, is a productive member of society, and considers herself to be an American, why shouldn’t we give these kids a way to do that?
So, yeah, I support the DREAM Act. (Warning: PDF)
I have reservations, though. In order to qualify, you have to have completed two years towards a bachelor’s degree or two years of military service. My reservation about the two years of college requirement is that college is expensive and, it seems to me, this language might mean that two years at a community college (which are more affordable) wouldn’t count (though I’d be happy to have some clarification from Dean Dad or immigration folks). I also find it a tad disingenuous that we want our immigrants to have or be working towards bachelors’ degrees when only 1 in 4 Americans has one. (No, really, check the Census data.) But, in general, I support education and I support having a way to bring these kids into legal status, so okay.
I find the two years of military service more dicy. It seems to me immoral that, in the middle of a highly unpopular war in which the military is having a great deal of trouble getting U.S. citizens to enlist, that we would bribe non-citizens to do what our citizens will not*. If we weren’t at war, I’d have less of a problem with this provision, but it seems to me that folks’ unwillingness to enlist is as clear a sign as there can be that the war is one the American people would rather not fight, seeing as they are refusing to fight it. That’s an important message for our politicians and that their solution is to just find other folks to fight it shows that they don’t understand the message they’re being sent.
But it seems to me that we shouldn’t stand in the way of the DREAM Act just because it has that one giant pothole. Instead, we should do all we can to make sure that these kids go to college and flourish there.
*America, I’m going to admit to you my biggest fear. It’s a little liberal paranoid crazy-talk, so if that stuff pisses you off, you should stop reading. But here it is. My biggest fear is not that we’ll invade Iran–though lord knows that would be breathtakingly stupid–but that we’re attempting to provoke Iran into attacking us. Think of it. If there were an attack on U.S. soil by a country, who would be opposed to invading that country? No one. And wouldn’t that solve our enlistment problems? It’s one thing to sit out a war you don’t really get, but everyone gets “Jackasses attack us; we must wipe jackasses off the planet.” I do think our President is … I don’t know, really, motivated by factors we’re not privy to because he doesn’t really understand how democracy and the Constitution work. But every day I hope against hope that he will steer us on a reasonable course through the rest of his presidency.