The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act of 2011, proposes to allow children of undocumented immigrants that were brought to the United States before their fifteenth birthday who have lived in America for at least five years straight to apply for permanent residency once they graduate from high school or achieve a GED. Conditionally, these children must be admitted into a college and complete a two-year degree or serve two years in the military. They must also be free of criminal convictions and have an honorable character.
In addition, the DREAM Act would reverse current law to allow states to provide taxpayer subsidized in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants. An estimated 1. 1-2. 1 million illegal aliens would be eligible to receive DREAM Act amnesty. The DREAM Act would not just affect immigrants though; it would harm Americans as well. As long as someone is here illegally, no matter how that came to be, they should not be entitled to remain here, much less receive a college degree using financial aid which should only be provided for US citizens or those that entered the country legally.
The DREAM Act should not be approved due to the negative effects it would have on America’s economy, education, and future of immigration. Due to the lack of funds coming in from illegal immigrants, the DREAM Act would have a negative effect on America’s economy. The Democratic Party continues to push the passage of the DREAM Act despite the fact that this costly legislation will make a difficult job market worse, place a higher tax burden on Americans, and ensure greater difficulty in balancing budgets on the state and federal level.
Granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens will make it even more difficult for unemployed Americans to find work. With the unemployment rate at 9. 8 percent, the last thing American job hunters need is millions of DREAM Act amnesty recipients competing with them for work. The DREAM Act does not provide federal funding to cover these costs, meaning Americans will be required to pay higher taxes and higher tuition rates.
Not including other forms of financial assistance they may receive such as student loans, work study, or any other taxpayer-provided assistance that college students often receive, each illegal immigrant who attends a public institution will receive a tuition subsidy of nearly $6,000 for each year he attends. The tuition subsidy alone will cost taxpayers $6. 2 billion a year (Camarota). Supporters argue that the DREAM Act will allow illegal immigrants to pay a substantial amount in taxes, helping to improve the American economy.
While not contributing any taxes of their own, the immigrants are free to use hospitals and public school services, costing American taxpayers. The DREAM Act will ultimately have a negative overwhelming impact on education systems. Since the DREAM Act does not provide funding to states and counties to cover imposing costs, the act’s passage will require tuition increases, tax increases to expand enrollment, or a reduction in spaces available for American citizens at these schools (Camarota).
About half a million new alien students are estimated to enroll in public institutions soon after the DREAM Act is passed, with another half million enrolling over the next decade and a half (Camarota). The United States would be rewarding undocumented immigrants and be taking education spots away from well-deserving American students, making it more difficult for them to obtain financial aid and or scholarships.
Steven Camarota adds in his article “Estimating the Impact of the DREAM Act” that tuition hikes will be difficult for students because many Americans already find it difficult to pay for college, as research indicates that one-third of college students drop out before earning a degree and costs are a major reason for that dropout rate. Lawmakers need to consider that the DREAM Act will create strains and negatively affect the educational opportunities available to American citizens by adding roughly one million students to state universities and community colleges (Camarota).
Supporters of the DREAM Act argue that it will significantly increase tax revenue because the amnesty recipients with a college education will earn more, causing them to pay more in taxes. However, Camarota shares that any tax benefit is in the long-term and will not help public institutions deal with the large influx of new students the Act creates in the short-term. Due to the limited spaces at institutions, United States citizens will be crowded out and that will reduce their lifetime earnings and tax payments.
In addition, since the DREAM Act only requires two years of college, the undocumented immigrants will not necessarily earn a degree, not helping to increase their tax payments. Moreover, with the college dropouts so high, many illegal immigrants will not complete the required two years, so taxpayers will pay for their enrollment and financial aid without long-term benefits (Camarota). The DREAM Act will negatively impact the United States by weakening respect, increasing rates of illegal immigration, nd create a need for more acts regarding immigration. With a promising future proposed by the DREAM Act, illegal immigration may become more tempting for struggling parents. The Act will weaken respect for our nation’s immigration laws. Because the DREAM Act would give more opportunities to illegal immigrants, parents in other countries will be encouraged to continue breaking immigration laws by sneaking their children into the United States to give them citizenship and a future in America.
Then, years later once the DREAM Act is passed, it would be necessary to pass further legislation due to all of the new illegal immigrants. Even if the advocates of the DREAM Act would promote deporting future immigrants, people would wonder why the recipients of the DREAM Act were granted citizenship and yet citizenship will be denied to all other illegal immigrants. The DREAM Act insufficiently deals with the United States’ problem of illegal immigrants while presenting contradiction for the future options, contrary to the Act’s own goal.
The DREAM Act may help to improve the lifestyle of the illegal immigrants, but in the process, American citizens will only end up hurting through their economy, education, and eventually the future of immigration. It will be rewarding the undocumented parents who committed an illegal act, an act undoubtedly committed for the sake of their own children, which is giving them exactly what they desired in the first place.