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A few weeks ago I heard a story from a friend in Oklahoma. She works with high school science teachers, helping them learn how to add biotechnology to their courses.

One teacher, in particular, has taken the new science activities to heart. Her students did so well, they won a science competition and were asked to fly somewhere to accept the prize.

For many of those students, this would be their first trip on an airplane and their first trip outside of rural Oklahoma. It was pretty exciting!

But there were some unexpected problems.

Some of these children were illegal.

Just like the students my friend knew on the underdog team that won the science fair, many kids are finding their teen years include a horrible surprise. Supporters of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act), claim that over 65,000 kids a year become teenagers and find out they have no country. Their dreams, their goals, their hopes for the future, mean nothing.

Often the children don’t even know they’re illegal until it’s time to get a driver’s license.

What do we do with them? It’s heartbreaking to think of kids who’ve grown up here, worked hard, attended school, and were in all ways, typical American teenagers.

Now what are they? Criminals?

Senators Richard Durbin of Illinois and Richard Lugar of Indiana and Rep. Howard Berman of California and Lincoln Diaz-Balart of Florida want to help these kids.

Under the rigorous provisions of the DREAM Act, undocumented young people could be eligible for a conditional path to citizenship in exchange for a mandatory two years in higher education or military service. Undocumented young people must also demonstrate good moral character to be eligible for and stay in conditional residency

You can help kids keep their dreams alive.

For more information on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (The “DREAM Act”) see the Wikipedia DREAM Act entry. You can also read the text of the legislation, and watch a movie about a kid in this situation.

Comments

  1. #1 Juan M.
    March 30, 2009

    I am thankful for this piece. Many people have to bear with this situation day after day. DREAM ACT 2009!!!!

  2. #2 LO
    March 30, 2009

    I support the Dream Act!Immigration Reform!!!

  3. #3 Maria
    March 30, 2009

    Great piece! There are many exceptional students that would benefit from the DREAM Act. Not to mention what great contributions they will provide this country with.

    Those who support the DREAM Act should head over to http://dreamact2009.com and sign the petition and get involved!

  4. #4 MaryOGrady
    March 30, 2009

    Thank you so much for this post. Children should not suffer because of anything their parents have done, or failed to do. We as a nation also need all the brainpower we can get! We cannot afford to throw anybody away.

  5. #5 jj
    March 30, 2009

    What arrogance on your part! What they are is in this country illegally. They should not benefit from the illegal acts of their elders. We should not have to pay for their education or their health care. It is not fair for you to inflict costs on me. Any brainpower these kids have should be used to enrich their own country. Taking brainpower away from poor countries would make us as selfish and arrogant as their parents.

  6. #6 Jen
    March 30, 2009

    JJ, the DREAM Act would allow us to recoup the cost of their education. It costs us money not to pass the DREAM Act. We don’t educate children in this country for the heck of it, we do it so they can grow up and pay back their education plus more in taxes. Right now, we’re paying for their education (mandated by the supreme court) and right when we get to the good part where we start seeing a profit, we hold them back. It’s ridiculous, as a tax payer you should be demanding they pass the DREAM Act.

  7. #7 MaryJ
    March 30, 2009

    Jen: The Dream Act allows them to import their relatives (chain migration), who are most likely poor and uneducated and therefore will be a drain on our tax dollars. So no, we will not be getting back our “investment” in these illegal immigrants — we will just be getting more poor people for the taxpayers to support. In addition, more freebies for illegals will just result in more illegals coming here to benefit from the largesse. You can’t have an open border and a welfare state, they are two mutually incompatible ideas. In addition, I prefer MY tax dollars go to provide for American students, and resent being forced to provide for the educations of foreign nationals. There’s nothing to stop you or those who agree with you from starting up your own charity fund to pay for their educations — why force those of us who are unwilling to pony up also?

  8. #8 Joseph
    March 30, 2009

    Thank you so much for posting this! DREAM Act needs all the support it can get!

    And JJ. My friends are 50/50. Meaning, 50% undocumented and 50% documented. And guess what? Most of my friends who are documented whine and moan on and on about how they HAVE to go to work! How they HAVE to pay taxes and blah, blah, blah… while my friends who are undocumented WANT all of that! They actually WANT to pay taxes to support the country who already has given then so much! They WANT to join the military to protect the only country they know; their home!

  9. #9 24AheadDotCom
    March 30, 2009

    Now, let’s put on our thinking caps.

    Let’s pretend that there are 1000 U.S. citizens who want a college discount. There are 1000 foreign citizens who are here illegally who want also want a discount and who would be eligible to receive the discount under the bill. And, there are only 1000 discounts.

    What that means is that every discount that goes to a former illegal alien is one that was taken away from a U.S. citizen.

    And, that applies whatever numbers you want to use: there will always be a finite number of discounts and there will always be fewer discounts than applicants.

    It doesn’t sound like such a good bill once you actually put on your thinking cap.

  10. #10 Steve
    March 30, 2009

    NO Dream Act amnesty! “We are told endlessly that “we shouldn’t punish the children for what their parents did” in bringing them here unlawfully. This is an emotional argument, not an intellectual one.. Yet the opposite argument has even more weight when you think of the issue from a public cost-benefit perspective. If parents are doing this for the benefit of their children, which is undeniably the case, removing that benefit will remove one of the incentives for entering our country illegally.”

    Illegal behavior must NOT be rewarded. NO Dream Act mass amnesty!!

  11. #11 Steve
    March 30, 2009

    As a taxpayer, I demand that our existing immigration laws are enforced and all amnesties such as the misnamed “Dream Act” are opposed.

    History has shown that amnesties (e.g. the 1986 IRCA) encourage more illegal immigration, more disregard for our laws, and more abuse of taxpayers.

    For example, the Heritage Foundation estimated that if the terribly flawed Bush/Kennedy 2007 “comprehensive reform” a/k/a mass amnesty bill had passed, it would have cost taxpayers $2.6 TRILLION.

  12. #12 Sandra Porter
    March 30, 2009

    This is not an amnesty bill. These children have done no wrong.

  13. #13 Alex
    March 30, 2009

    Seriously people?
    You know nothing about living illegally and not being able to do anyhting about it.
    I have friends who can’t even leave the country because they won’t be able to come back.
    They grew up here just like any other American Citizen. They are American as well, although it is not stated on paper and I completely agree that should change for the good of MY country.

  14. #14 dreikin
    March 30, 2009

    Funny, all the info I’ve seen indicates that the tax gains from illegal immigrants vs. the tax draw by illegal immigrants is a wash – neither a significant benefit nor a detriment, even under projections. Immigrants still pay taxes – sales tax, if nothing else, and there’s a good probability they’ll pay into social security and others as well (making up fake numbers and such so they can get better jobs).

    As for the DREAM act – why should the children have to pay for the sins of their parents? How old testament..

  15. #15 dreikin
    March 30, 2009

    Also, what’s the real difference between someone born on US soil regardless of their parents’ status (and thus legal), and one that was brought in two months after they were born? It would not seem to be much at all, since both would be expected to have the same effect on society.

  16. #16 MaryJ
    March 30, 2009

    dreikin wrote: Funny, all the info I’ve seen indicates that the tax gains from illegal immigrants vs. the tax draw by illegal immigrants is a wash – neither a significant benefit nor a detriment, even under projections. Immigrants still pay taxes – sales tax, if nothing else, and there’s a good probability they’ll pay into social security and others as well (making up fake numbers and such so they can get better jobs).

    As for the DREAM act – why should the children have to pay for the sins of their parents? How old testament..

    Posted by: dreikin | March 30, 2009 6:38 PM

    ————————————————————

    Piddly sales taxes do not in anyway compensate for the taxpayer-funded social services used by illegal immigrants (nice conflaguration of illegal and legal immigrants by the way — your side always does it, you think you’d have noticed that no one is buying it any more.) Are you seriously comparing the taxes paid by someone like me — 30 years of paying state income taxes, SS, federal income taxes, ON TOP OF SALES taxes — with an “immigrant” who came six months ago and pays a few cents on a pack of ciggies now and then?

    And as for the Dream Act, why should my children be forced to pay for the sins of foreign nationals who didn’t obey our laws. . .How every old Testament.
    ————————————————————
    #15Also, what’s the real difference between someone born on US soil regardless of their parents’ status (and thus legal), and one that was brought in two months after they were born? It would not seem to be much at all, since both would be expected to have the same effect on society.
    ————————————————————
    The difference is that one is a citizen and one is not. A nation that does not honor the citizenship rights of its citizens is not long for this world. I personally value my American citizenship very highly, and I get very frustrated at people who want to dilute my citizenship rights — they are quite frankly, supporting the stealing something very valuable from me.

    I see that no one has taken me up on my challenge to create a private charitible fund that you all can donate to, to provide tuition funds for the illegal immigrant students you are so enamored of. That way you are not forcing the rest of us to pay for illegal activity of which we disapprove. Everybody wins.

  17. #17 GeMm
    March 30, 2009

    I wish that for a change people would really and I mean really educate themselves on every issue and not just believe what you hear on the radio, T.V., or internet. Illegal immigrants also pay taxes I just don’t know how people don’t get that. They get deductions from their checks for a social security they don’t have which means that money just goes to what you all call an “america tax payer.” And nobody whines about that. The Dream Act is not an amnesty. It has guidelines, very specific guidelines and by accepting it jobs will be created, more people will get educated. People should think about the country as a whole and see the benefits as a whole, rather than just thinking about themselves. Patriotism means love and or devosion to ones country, not to yourself.

  18. #18 Jenny
    March 30, 2009

    I don’t support the dream act, which is just another back door amnesty program. Firstly, I want to state that I am a lifelong liberal democrat, I care passionately about civil rights and social justice, and I see what our corrupt politicians have done, to working poor and struggling middle class citizens, by their refusal to enforce our immigration laws. NO ONE, who claims to CARE about children, education or their future, could justify destroying our children’s futures, by rationalizing the corrupt status quo south of the border, and attempting to impose that same status quo here. No one, who cries those crocodile tears about poor illegals, wanting a “better life”, has any credibility with me, because those same types don’t give a fig about the displacement of citizens in the workplace, and what terrible impact that has had on their children, and are as a result very insincere. I drive by a tent city each day, where families with children, not alcoholics or drug addicts, but families who have been displaced in the workplace, by illegals, by outsourcing and the exploitation of our visa programs.

    Here’s a clue for you. Mexico is the 14th wealthiest country in the world, it can afford to do more for it’s own people, and those who come here illegally from Mexico, have every ability to work hard for change in their own home countries, they do not have some “basic human right” to displace American citizens, and if they believe in “basic human rights”, then they should be demanding them in Mexico, not here, because neither they, or their children have rights here. Mexico offers free college and university education for it’s citizens, those illegal aliens should send their children home to Mexico to avail themselves of that, instead of trying to demand citizen taxpayers subsidize their children, to be given preferential placement instead of citizens children, in what are an ever declining pool of slots in colleges and universities in the US.

    Since the ’70s, when ESL was expanded, school districts in less affluent areas, were bowled over by the added expense of what became an unfunded mandate, and that is what led to the cutting of arts and music education programs, programs that incidently have been found to increase math and science scores. ESL has actually increased the high school dropout rate. Too many generations of American citizens have had their k-12 education undermined, because of the needless expense of subsidizing illegals and their children, and the majority of American citizens are against another amnesty, including the shamnesty dream act. We will not stop until it is voted down and our borders are secured. If the teacher who wrote this piece disagrees, then she is more than free to emigrate to Mexico, and stay there.

  19. #19 dreikin
    March 30, 2009

    Piddly sales taxes do not in anyway compensate for the taxpayer-funded social services used by illegal immigrants (nice conflaguration of illegal and legal immigrants by the way — your side always does it, you think you’d have noticed that no one is buying it any more.) Are you seriously comparing the taxes paid by someone like me — 30 years of paying state income taxes, SS, federal income taxes, ON TOP OF SALES taxes — with an “immigrant” who came six months ago and pays a few cents on a pack of ciggies now and then?

    And as for the Dream Act, why should my children be forced to pay for the sins of foreign nationals who didn’t obey our laws. . .How every old Testament.

    Conflaguration of illegal and legal? Where, in that statement, did I do such a thing? Also my side of what, exactly? And which side is that?

    It’s nice to know you pay taxes. I also don’t care. Immigrants pay the same taxes. And “pays a few cents on a pack of ciggies now and then”? So you think they don’t have to pay for food, housing, alcohol, clothes, etc? No, you’re right – some of them don’t. But then, a hell of a lot of citizens don’t either, and not because they’ve been displaced.

    And that comparison you make can just as easily be applied to most legal teenagers, who’ve been living on the government dole (via education) for years without paying anything into it. And if you’re going to complain that they’re (legal) parents paid into it, (1) not all of them do, and (2) then by that same logic an illegal immigrant’s children can pay off their parent’s debt.

    Good turn, yes. But there’s still a difference between inherited punishment and collective support.

    The difference is that one is a citizen and one is not. A nation that does not honor the citizenship rights of its citizens is not long for this world. I personally value my American citizenship very highly, and I get very frustrated at people who want to dilute my citizenship rights — they are quite frankly, supporting the stealing something very valuable from me.

    I see that no one has taken me up on my challenge to create a private charitible fund that you all can donate to, to provide tuition funds for the illegal immigrant students you are so enamored of. That way you are not forcing the rest of us to pay for illegal activity of which we disapprove. Everybody wins.

    Nice – start with an irrelevant statement. ‘Citizen’ is defined by the government, and is at issue here. However, YOUR rights are not diluted by extending them to others. This is not a zero-sum game, and there is not a finite supply of rights.

    As for your challenge – that’s what government is FOR – to provide for the common good. Educating the children of illegal immigrants increases their earning potential, which increases the amount they’ll pay in taxes AND decreases their load on the govt, providing a net benefit over no immigrants at all. As for paying for illegal activity of which you disapprove? You might want to work on the much larger homefront first. Things like massive bail-outs to bad-faith corporations who often have more rights and privileges than most citizens do, de facto and de jure.

    Everybody also wins when there are more people producing more wealth – and citizens win when they don’t need to do all the crap work that immigrants take up, allowing citizens to get a higher net pay and produce more non-basic goods. In fact, they win by a larger margin.

    And before you complain about it – yes, open borders mixed with open welfare is a recipe for disaster, but closed borders are bad as well, either way on welfare. And I’m all for getting rid of the free-loading illegals (and, perhaps, the free-loading citizens, as well), but not the ones who are, except for one status marker, not different from the citizens in practice. Which includes their children who have grown up as US citizens – even if, legally, they weren’t. BTW, I’m not ‘enamored’ of illegal immigrants, nor am I enamored of most citizens. Trying wrapping your mind around someone who supports some immigration reform and is NOT a bleeding-heart liberal.

    I don’t support the dream act, which is just another back door amnesty program. Firstly, I want to state that I am a lifelong liberal democrat, I care passionately about civil rights and social justice, and I see what our corrupt politicians have done, to working poor and struggling middle class citizens, by their refusal to enforce our immigration laws. NO ONE, who claims to CARE about children, education or their future, could justify destroying our children’s futures, by rationalizing the corrupt status quo south of the border, and attempting to impose that same status quo here. No one, who cries those crocodile tears about poor illegals, wanting a “better life”, has any credibility with me, because those same types don’t give a fig about the displacement of citizens in the workplace, and what terrible impact that has had on their children, and are as a result very insincere. I drive by a tent city each day, where families with children, not alcoholics or drug addicts, but families who have been displaced in the workplace, by illegals, by outsourcing and the exploitation of our visa programs.

    This is not a broad “hey, it’s all good – you’re all legal!” program. There are requirements to be fulfilled, which basically ensure that the ones allowed to stay are the ones who are actually worth something. To quote the Library of Congress:

    Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2007 or the DREAM Act of 2007 – Amends the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to repeal the denial of an unlawful alien’s eligibility for higher education benefits based on state residence unless a U.S. national is similarly eligible without regard to such state residence.

    Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to cancel the removal of, and adjust to conditional permanent resident status, an alien who: (1) entered the United States before his or her sixteenth birthday, and has been present in the United States for at least five years immediately preceding enactment of this Act; (2) is a person of good moral character; (3) is not inadmissible or deportable under specified grounds of the Immigration and Nationality Act; (4) at the time of application, has been admitted to an institution of higher education, or has earned a high school or equivalent diploma; and (5) from the age of 16 and older, has never been under a final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal.

    Sets forth the conditions for conditional permanent resident status, including: (1) termination of status for violation of this Act; and (2) removal of conditional status to permanent status.

    Authorizes an alien who has satisfied the appropriate requirements prior to enactment of this Act to petition the Secretary for conditional permanent resident status.

    It doesn’t even grant citizenship – they get “conditional permanent resident” and “permanent resident” (after which, presumably, they can pursue citizenship like all the other permanent residents) statuses, neither of which is guaranteed. And they can still be deported. This is, in some respects, better than selecting our immigrants: these are people who, according to y’all, have already been a drain on society – and now they have an opportunity to pay up or get deported.

    As for displacement of those in the work place, lookup creative destruction and, more relevantly, economic depression. Outsourcing is also a separate issue – it’s not about people coming in legally OR illegaly. And if you really want to solve the displacement-by-foreigners issue, cut the LEGAL immigrants – those are the ones who take up the white collar and similar jobs. Legal immigrants are typically well-educated and of at least moderate wealth, and probably knowing some specialty that has limited demands. Illegals usually take up the crap work no-one else likes.

    Here’s a clue for you. Mexico is the 14th wealthiest country in the world, it can afford to do more for it’s own people, and those who come here illegally from Mexico, have every ability to work hard for change in their own home countries, they do not have some “basic human right” to displace American citizens, and if they believe in “basic human rights”, then they should be demanding them in Mexico, not here, because neither they, or their children have rights here. Mexico offers free college and university education for it’s citizens, those illegal aliens should send their children home to Mexico to avail themselves of that, instead of trying to demand citizen taxpayers subsidize their children, to be given preferential placement instead of citizens children, in what are an ever declining pool of slots in colleges and universities in the US.

    Per capita GDP places Mexico at 63rd, with $14,400 per capita, whereas the USA is 8th with $48,000 per capita. The rest of it I mostly do not disagree with, but that does not make it right to uproot children who have lived most of their lives in America simply because they weren’t born here. (As an aside, and off topic, if Mexico, at 63rd, can offer free university educations to all of it’s citizens, then why can’t we at #8? Or, for that matter, pay enough to at least retain what little teachers we have. When it comes to education and declining slots, etc., I think we have much bigger issues than illegal, or legal, immigrants.)

    Since the ’70s, when ESL was expanded, school districts in less affluent areas, were bowled over by the added expense of what became an unfunded mandate, and that is what led to the cutting of arts and music education programs, programs that incidently have been found to increase math and science scores. ESL has actually increased the high school dropout rate. Too many generations of American citizens have had their k-12 education undermined, because of the needless expense of subsidizing illegals and their children, and the majority of American citizens are against another amnesty, including the shamnesty dream act. We will not stop until it is voted down and our borders are secured. If the teacher who wrote this piece disagrees, then she is more than free to emigrate to Mexico, and stay there.

    But is the dropout rate increase due to citizens dropping out, or immigrants? If the latter, why care – this bill would deport them. As for subsidizing illegals – see my previous comments on that, and on the need for general education reform anyway.

    And many Americans also believe that creationism is a science – what’s your point? And you may also emmigrate elsewhere if you don’t like the changes – a rather pointless bit of rhetoric, that.

  20. #20 Nancy
    March 31, 2009

    Jenny, Amnesty? Are you kidding? This isn’t a free for all. There are clearly strict requirements that must be met. The students that would be potentially eligible for the passing of the Act have worked hard! They aren’t your average students, smoking marijuana and getting arrested for DUIs, thinking about which fraternity they want to join or what vacation spot to hit up on Spring Break. They want a chance to continue their higher education to become working citizens, residents at the least.

    Do you honestly, HONESTLY, think those children were capable of making the choice of whether they wanted to come to the U.S. legally or not? Do you think a 2 year old has the mental COGNITIVE ability to do so? If you, Jenny, could have made that very large and important decision as a child, then do tell. Please, I implore, share with us. I am beyond certain you were unable to do so because most, if not ALL, of these kids didn’t even have a clue that they were illegal until well into their teenage years or approaching adulthood. And they should be punished why?

    So, you see, this isn’t an issue of national origin, it isn’t an issue that is clearly black or white–most political issues aren’t these days either. There is a lot of gray in this and many other issues. Try to see from a different point of view instead of being fixated on your very worldview. That’s a basic human part of character called empathy that we all have but sadly don’t choose to exercise so well at times.

    I promise that I don’t know what country your heritage is from…but unless you are Native American, this isn’t your true, native land either.

    And finally, needless to say, the issue isn’t about MEXICAN foreign nationals, it is about ALL illegal aliens living here in the U.S. I get SO SICK of hearing about just Mexico when it clearly is not just Mexico. There are European, Asian, Hispanic students from not only Mexico but Spain, South America, you name it. You would be surprised to find out just how many aren’t Mexican…but I suppose your ignorance doesn’t allow for it. And while it is true that Mexico is a wealthy country, it does not mean that the government runs like that of this country, at all. It is notorious for its corrupt government. But, maybe you can’t comprehend that, can you? No, that would be a crying shame for you to consider someone other than yourself. You claim to be concerned about those who are displaced in the working field…aren’t we all? It’s an ongoing battle. We are just trying to make this a better country, for you, for me, and for the countless others who are Americans, too. We can argue all day about this but the truth is that when we bleed, we all bleed the same color–we are humans, first and foremost. I hope you don’t forget that.

  21. #21 Tapayer & voter
    March 31, 2009

    There are no “strict requirements” for the misnamed Dream Act mass amnesty. Just a few facts about how this amnesty scheme is fundamentally unfair:

    The DREAM Act would give amnesty to anyone who says they came to this country before they were 16 and also claim they will go to College–which can just be a one year vocational class. Over two million illegal aliens are eligible for this amnesty — and that’s assuming there wouldn’t be any fraud. Like all amnesties this would be riddled with loopholes that will make it even worse than advertised.

    **Illegal aliens applying for the DREAM Act would not be required to give their fingerprints or undergo a criminal background check.

    **Any illegal alien under 30 who claims he came to the country before he was 16 is eligible for the amnesty, and cannot be deported pending the application.

    **The DREAM Act would not stop with one amnesty. Illegal aliens – even ones who would not be eligible today – would be able to continue to apply for this amnesty for years.

    **Under the Dream Act, once the children of illegal aliens got amnesty, then they could sponsor their parents (rewarding their lawbreaking) and other family members.

  22. #22 dream gril
    March 31, 2009

    Thank you to all of you who support the DREAM ACT I’m one of them who needs it. I was brought the the U.S when I was only 5 years old. I have always been a stright A student graduated on top of my class, while working full time.I go to church every sunday. In the only way im different than other teens my age is that insted of doing sports in high school i had to work to help pay bills and save for college since i knew no one would help me. But come to realize that as far as i can go in college is not far enough for me. i want to be a Dr. I work for a Clinic and take night classes hoping some day I will be able to apply for Med school. untill then, I will keep beeing a good example and getting the trainning needed. I dont loose hope but it is sad that all my life I worked hard and cant even go out of the state for a real vacation. IF DREAMING IS A CRIME, THAN I’M A CRIMINAL. OTHER THAN THAT I DESEARVE TO BE HERE AS MUCH AS ANYOTHER PERSON WHO HAS BEEN HERE ALL THIER LIVE. GOD BLESS YOU

  23. #23 Gio
    March 31, 2009

    Thank you for posting this. There are so many other sites that are simply attacking the DREAM ACT. You cannot truly comprehend what the passage of this law would mean to so many kids, teens, and young adults. So many feel that they have to country to call their own. They don’t feel they belong in their native country, and they are not accepted wholly in this one. Most, simply want to pursue a life to work, and make a home. They are not asking for handouts, just an opportunity to show their worth and pay back the country that has given so much to them.

  24. #24 Azkyroth
    March 31, 2009

    What arrogance on your part! What they are is in this country illegally. They should not benefit from the illegal acts of their elders. We should not have to pay for their education or their health care. It is not fair for you to inflict costs on me. Any brainpower these kids have should be used to enrich their own country. Taking brainpower away from poor countries would make us as selfish and arrogant as their parents.

    As your comment shows, JJ, we have somewhat of a deficit of brainpower here. That and basic human decency. I say let them stay; hopefully they’ll help cancel out the effects of scum like you.

    I, for one, am concerned about leaving the exact interpretation of “good moral character” up in the air. I can see all kinds of religious groups, like those “prison ministry” types, exploiting this…

  25. #25 Sandra Porter
    March 31, 2009

    Gio and dreamgirl – my heart is with you and so is my head.

    It’s sad to read what some of the commenters write about innocent children.

  26. #26 Dave
    March 31, 2009

    Enough of the emotional pleas for amnesty such as “I’ve been here since I was five and want to be a doctor..”

    Spare me. How incredibly greedy, insensitive and immoral to push for in-state tuition and mass amnesty during this worst economy since the Great Depression.

    Guess what, Americans CITIZEN and LEGAL immigrant families are having trouble affording college with mass layoffs and our 529 plans taking a dump. Those of us who have played by the rules are entire lives. And WE want to be doctors too — in OUR country!

    Illegal immigrants can return to THEIR countries and be doctors. And trust me, Mexico et al. can use more educated workers. And BTW, what are the tuition rates for Mexican universities?

    Illegals must place their blame and anger where it belongs
    – at their parents for illegally sneaking them into the country or overstaying their visas. And at the corrupt, dysfunctional Mexican govt. and billionaires who pillage Mexico.

    It’s THEIR fault, not ours! We’ve already paid for illegals’ K-12 education and now they want more?! NO! It doesn’t work this way in the real world.

    It’s time these supposed “innocent” mass amnesty-proponents learn about responsibility. If they are of college age they are supposed to be adults, so they should understand this.

    If illegal immigrants want our middle class lifestyle, they must return to their home countries, where they were born, and fight for it THEIR — not expect American middle class citizens to suffer and bail them out again! We don’t like line-cutters and we have had enough!

  27. #27 Nancy
    March 31, 2009

    “We don’t like line-cutters and we have had enough!”

    Really? Dave, is it? How old are you? It’s sad to see just how the racist cards plays such a great role in this issue. All you can do is talk about Mexico, as if it’s the only country of origin that these folks are coming from.

    Please. Your ridiculous pleas for your own “hard” work and your so-called God-given right to having been born here is so translucent–it bores me.

    “It’s THEIR fault, not ours! We’ve already paid for illegals’ K-12 education and now they want more?! NO! It doesn’t work this way in the real world.”

    Yea, I suppose the children are to blame. Geez, what a bunch of idiots, right? Need I remind you that illegal aliens pay taxes, too? Not just sales tax, property taxes, social security, state, government??? So, in reality, they paid to educate their children, too. Duh.

    How about…you educate yourself on the issue before shouting out all your anger. Does it bother you that there are *gasp* heaven forbid, illegal “criminals” that have double the higher IQ than you? You poor thing.

  28. #28 Azkyroth
    March 31, 2009

    We don’t like line-cutters brown-skinned people, especially with accents, and we have had enough!

    Fixed it for you.

  29. #29 24AheadDotCom
    March 31, 2009

    Perhaps Sandra Porter could jump back in her and explain why she persists in promoting a horrible bill. Is it that she isn’t smart enough to figure out all the incredible downsides of the bill? Or, is it just that she has no problem with such anti-American bills and the anti-American sentiments expressed by some above. (Note: understanding just how contrary to fundamental concepts some of the sentiments above are will probably be beyond Sandra Porter’s abilities, so perhaps she can ask a smart friend.)

    Hopefully she won’t be running run her company in the same way and her investors are keeping a close eye on her.

  30. #30 Azkyroth
    March 31, 2009

    Perhaps Sandra Porter could jump back in her and explain why she persists in promoting a horrible bill. Is it that she isn’t smart enough to figure out all the incredible downsides of the bill? Or, is it just that she has no problem with such anti-American bills and the anti-American sentiments expressed by some above. (Note: understanding just how contrary to fundamental concepts some of the sentiments above are will probably be beyond Sandra Porter’s abilities, so perhaps she can ask a smart friend.)

    You’re right. Opportunity and hope for people who had no choice but to come here is SO unAmerican.

  31. #31 Sandra Porter
    March 31, 2009

    24Ahead: The desire to beat up on innocent children might be your idea of an American ideal, but it is not mine.

  32. #32 dreikin
    April 1, 2009

    Ah, Dr. Porter could you rescue my last night’s comment from the moderation queue? Although I’m not sure it’s relevant anymore..

  33. #33 Sandra Porter
    April 1, 2009

    Thanks dreikin,

    I’m sorry I missed this. You’re making very good points. I still have hope that other commenters are open to reason.

  34. #34 Dave
    April 1, 2009

    This is to Nancy & Azkyroth,
    Those such as you who resort to the race card prove once again that you have no intellectual or logical arguments. News flash: the race card doesn’t work anymore, facts do.

    Do you even know or care how unfair and devastating amnesty policies are to working class African-Americans and second generation Mexican-Americans? I do, having lived and worked in diverse, urban, working-class environments for years.

    And how about the burden imposed on taxpayers? Illegal aliens impose a net cost of about $9-10 billion annually on California taxpayers — excluding the costs of welfare and unemployment payments to displaced American workers whose jobs were stolen by illegal aliens.

    And I see that Sandra Porter has not answered 24ahead’s question. Does Porter really believe that opposing this terrible public policy is “beating up on innocent children??” Please. I understand that she is a microbiologist/entrepreneur and may not have had much training in public policy, history etc., but to make that claim is ridiculous.

    Here’s one fact (based on the past versions of the “Dream Act”) that amnesty proponents in their emotional appeals for amnesty overlook:

    This act makes illegal aliens eli­gible for federal student loans and federal work-study programs —another benefit that law-abiding foreign students cannot receive — all at taxpayer expense. A consistent theme emerges: Illegal aliens are treated much more favorably than aliens who fol­low the law.

  35. #35 Toaster
    April 1, 2009

    The blind hate being spewed by some here makes me sad and just reinforced my pessimistic belief that most people are assholes most of the time. I’m actually surprised Godwin’s Law hasn’t yet surfaced.

    I fully support the DREAM Act. To those who argue against it because their taxes are being “wasted”, I would say that perhaps their anger and hate are better directed at a massively bloated military budget, oil subsidies, corporate tax shelters, privatized health care, and Congressional salaries. I, for one, would support all Congresspeople being mandated to live in D.C.’s PJs.

    However, the truth no one seems to be looking at is that Americans caused the drive for illegal immigration in the first place. We, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say our corporations, pushed for opening the borders of Mexico, the USA, and Canada for free trade in a little bill called NAFTA. Prior to this, Mexico had a largely agrarian economy with many independent farmers. Afterwards, big American corn and beef growers with industrialized practices flooded the North American market with cheap food and the bottom fell out of the Mexican market, bankrupting farmers across the country. This led to a massive influx into the cities, where employment was scarce, before that stream of desperate humanity turned northward to, ironically enough, find jobs in agriculture. Similar things, coupled with greater social upheaval and civil war (often the result of mangled USA military or political intervention during the Cold War), happened in many other Latin American countries as well.

    Disclosure: I’m first-generation American, so maybe my arguments or views aren’t quite so valid or smrt as those whose families have been here longer.

  36. #36 Sandra Porter
    April 1, 2009

    Thanks Toaster!

    It’s good to see people out there with some common sense and empathy. Luckily for me, Isis and her readers are sensible, too.

  37. #37 Azkyroth
    April 1, 2009

    Those such as you who resort to the race card prove once again that you have no intellectual or logical arguments. News flash: the race card doesn’t work anymore, facts do.

    How irrational of me to draw conclusions from the repeated references specifically to “Mexicans.”

  38. #38 Dave
    April 1, 2009

    Is this what they’re teaching in college these days — that reciting facts and posing legitimate questions (which the pro-amnesty commenters here are still dodging) is spewing “blind hate.” Wow. Such intellectual and moral dishonesty.

    And the Dream Act IS amnesty, with legalized presence and a high-speed track to U.S. citizenship (ahead of lawfully present aliens). According to the past version of this act, in Section 4(f), once an illegal alien files an application — any application, no matter how ridiculous — the federal government is prohib­ited from deporting him/her. Just one of many flaws in this amnesty scheme.

    Re: corporations, both of our dysfunctional political parties are in their pockets. For example, per FEC date, Goldman Sachs donated $980,945.00 to Obama. And don’t forget it was Clinton who pushed NAFTA, and his VEEP who extolled its virtues on a CNN debate with Ross Perot in 1993. Many of us who oppose ILLEGAL immigration and amnesty know about the negative impacts of NAFTA — that’s why we opposed it then and now.

    The question is what do we do about it. History has shown that passing amnesty & using the U.S as a safety valve so the Mexican govt. and elite can export millions of their impoverished to the U.S. (who send back billions in remittances) does not work and leads to more illegal immigration. Study history & see what happened after President Reagan signed the 1986 IRCA amnesty.

    This is why Mexico needs its younger, educated citizens to return and fight to make it a better country. And this is why Calderon, Fox et al. resist this and keep pushing amnesty.

    RE “common sense” and “empathy.” How empathetic is it to keep pushing mass amnesty plans for millions of illegal workers and future workers when there are 12 million Americans out of work and unemployment is at a 26-year high? What about my friend who has owned a small contracting firm for decades but is now on the verge of bankruptcy because because other firms are using much cheaper illegal foreign workers who have moved to the area.

    One more note on empathy. The late, great Barbara Jordan (remember her??) chaired a bi-partisan U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform which concluded that chain migration should be eliminated in order to protect the most vulnerable Americans. From what I see, the Dream Act completely ignores this — again, where is the common sense & empathy for American workers.

  39. #39 Toaster
    April 2, 2009

    Is this what they’re teaching in college these days — that reciting facts and posing legitimate questions (which the pro-amnesty commenters here are still dodging) is spewing “blind hate.” Wow. Such intellectual and moral dishonesty.

    Negative vitriol without citations is blind hate, de facto. You have the problem with Dr. Porter’s post, so the burden of proof is upon you to back up your facts and legitimate questions with unbiased sources and citations. Also: I find the disdain for contemporary education in your first line incongruous; care to explain?

    Re: corporations, both of our dysfunctional political parties are in their pockets.

    It is arrogant of you to assume that because I support the DREAM Act I support all Democrats blindly. I carry water for neither party.

    “common sense” and “empathy.” How empathetic is it to keep pushing mass amnesty plans for millions of illegal workers and future workers when there are 12 million Americans out of work and unemployment is at a 26-year high?

    While I do not doubt that those unemployed American citizens are qualified to pick tomatoes and shingle roofs, I do have serious doubts as to whether they would deign do so. Also, it’s still not mass amnesty; the DREAM Act has rather specific conditions that my own father would not have been able to meet had his visas been mangled.

    What about my friend who has owned a small contracting firm for decades but is now on the verge of bankruptcy because because other firms are using much cheaper illegal foreign workers who have moved to the area.

    This is free-market capitalism at it finest. Adapt your business or starve. Fundamentally, there is no difference between this and outsourcing tele-service jobs or manufacturing jobs to Asia, except that the cheaper labor lives closer to you. For better or worse, this is the ruling order of the day. So if you don’t like it, work to change it. And honestly, if all Americans felt as you so obviously do, then they’d refuse to buy products made by illegals, using market forces to solve your problems once and for all. But that’s not happening, now, is it? Why might that be?

  40. #40 Sandra Porter
    April 2, 2009

    Dave:

    It’s clear from your post that you are afraid of many things, and afraid for your future. But let’s focus on the DREAM act and what it does and doesn’t do.

    First, the notion of amnesty. Amnesty consists of pardoning someone for a crime. Amnesty is not part of this act since these children have not committed any crimes. In fact, if children have committed crimes, they are ineligible.

    Second, these children have grown up in the U.S., they are not “Mexicans” or “Chinese” or anything else, they are culturally and for all practical purposes, Americans.

    Imagine yourself at 18, suddenly finding out that you’re getting deported to a foreign country where you don’t speak the language or know anyone. How would that work for you? That’s what these kids are facing.

    You asked:

    How empathetic is it to keep pushing mass amnesty plans for millions of illegal workers and future workers when there are 12 million Americans out of work and unemployment is at a 26-year high?

    Again, I suggest you read the text in the act. The act refers to teenagers who have grown up in this country, not millions of illegal workers. They are already here.

    Yes, times are hard. In fact, in hard times there’s an even greater need to help each other. Hard times don’t mean we need to give up all the things that make our country good. We don’t need to give up concern for others and we don’t need to punish innocent children for crimes they didn’t commit.

  41. #41 Dave
    April 2, 2009

    To others who may be reading this, please read closely what Ms. Porter and other pro-Dream Act amnesty commenters post here and elsewhere. They rely on emotional appeals, weak reasoning, and insulting rhetoric (e.g., “blind hate” or Americans won’t “shingle roofs”) — instead of debating this topic factually & logically. This is typical of the pro-amnesty side.

    This is my last post on this forum, so one more time for the record:

    Of course the Dream Act is amnesty (just as “comprehensive immigration reform” is a euphemism for mass amnesty). In this act, an illegal alien under the age of 35 who’s been violating federal immigration laws for the last five years, but has a high school diploma or GED and has been admitted (not even attending) an institution of higher learning would get amnestied.

    Illegal aliens would also have to show that they were first brought into the country at the age of 16 or less, but the act provides no system or method to verify whether or not those applying for lawful permanent resident status actually met the requirements. I could go on, but suffice it to say that this amnesty’s “specific conditions” are a recipe for massive fraud, and if history is a guide, would be largely unenforced.

    And see that Ms. Porter does not answer the question about chain migration. Perhaps she does not know (or chooses to ignore) that after the “teenagers who have grown up in this country” (i.e. not “anchor babies” but foreign nationals who are illegally in the US) were granted permanent resident status, they could then sponsor their relatives under current chain migration laws. Barbara Jordan was right when she said chain migration should be eliminated to help our vulnerable — but perhaps this icon was just another citizen full of “blind hate.”

    I’m sure Porter understands that we are all shaped by our life experiences, but mine are not from any ivory tower or boardroom but rather from studying this issue for years — and more importantly living and working in cities where I have seen first hand the devastating impact of illegal immigration on taxpayers and on my black and working class friends (whom greedy and ignorant commenters like “Toaster” dismiss).

    We’ve passed seven amnesties since the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, our borders are still wide open, but still this is not enough for the pro-amnesty, anti-American worker crowd. It is well past time time we enforce our immigration laws and secure our southern border as vigorously as Mexico secures its southern border. Above all, we must not reward illegal behavior through more amnesty scehemes.

    And yes, times are hard. This is why our government has the moral obligation to focus on struggling American families who want to send their kids to college, and on the 12 million unemployed vulnerable Americans who Porter so cavalierly overlooks. The Dream Act amnesty may or may not pass this time, but one thing is for sure, this is flawed, immoral public policy and those who oppose this are not in any way “punishing innocent children.”

  42. #42 marilove
    April 3, 2009

    “This is typical of the pro-amnesty side.”

    IT IS NOT AMNESTY. Good gracious.

    am⋅nes⋅ty   /ˈæmnəsti/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [am-nuh-stee] Show IPA noun, plural -ties, verb, -tied, -ty⋅ing.
    –noun 1. a general pardon for offenses, esp. political offenses, against a government, often granted before any trial or conviction.
    2. Law. an act of forgiveness for past offenses, esp. to a class of persons as a whole.
    3. a forgetting or overlooking of any past offense.

    There is NO OFFENSE. They did not commit any crime. It is their parents who brought them here.

    Stop using that word, Dave. No one is going to take you seriously.

  43. #43 Sandra Porter
    April 3, 2009

    marilove: I agree.

    It’s clear from Dave’s comments that he hasn’t bothered to read the text of the act. I suspect he doesn’t care to hear anything that conflicts with his pre-existing notions of how things are. His comments are littered with inaccurate statements and suppositions that don’t align with the facts.

    It must be sad to be him and always be afraid.

  44. #44 marilove
    April 3, 2009

    “The Dream Act amnesty may or may not pass this time, but one thing is for sure, this is flawed, immoral public policy and those who oppose this are not in any way “punishing innocent children.”"

    I just don’t understand how helping children who did not make the decision to move here is somehow considered “immoral.” The majority of these children likely do not speak fluent spanish. These children grew up in America, their entire lives! They went to school here! They pay taxes! How is it fair to send a CHILD who DID NOT choose to live here, away from the country she or he calls home?!

    Sigh.

  45. #45 Azkyroth
    April 4, 2009

    Once it’s been established that a person thinks “sound reasoning” means “sharing their biases,” debating them is pointless, but poking them with a stick may yet be entertaining.

  46. #46 dreikin
    April 7, 2009

    Dave:
    I’m a bit late coming back to the party, but I must ask how my post #19 “rel[ies] on emotional appeals, weak reasoning, and insulting rhetoric (e.g., “blind hate” or Americans won’t “shingle roofs”) — instead of debating this topic factually & logically.”?

  47. #47 Azkyroth
    April 7, 2009

    I’m a bit late coming back to the party, but I must ask how my post #19 “rel[ies] on emotional appeals, weak reasoning, and insulting rhetoric (e.g., “blind hate” or Americans won’t “shingle roofs”) — instead of debating this topic factually & logically.”?

    Easy. “Factually” means starting from the same set of biases and assumptions he uses, and “logically” means coming to the same conclusion he did.

  48. #48 daymay
    May 13, 2009

    To those of u who dont suppor the DREAM act just think about this for a second…what if u were the one that was illegal??? how would that change? or if u had to lie just for a better living opportunity? Or to those parents who loe their children, dont you want the best for your son or daughter? i’m pretty sure that if u love them u do! besides your ancestors were once immigrants too its not only your country its now OUR COUNTRY too.