The Dream Act






The Dream Act


In a society that is characterized by a high degree of cultural diversity, is unlikely for controversies to occur. Minority issues have been at the center state of the American politics and legislation since historical times. It cannot be disputed that political leaders have undertaken massive steps in a bit to reconcile the inherent complexities and ensure that justice is upheld at all levels. Of great importance has been the effort of the government to ensure that all citizens have an equal chance to grow and develop in a holistic manner. These have often led to different controversies that have never been resolved in some instances. This can be attributed to the characteristic multicultural nature of the populations. Coupled with a democratic form of government, addressing such sensitive issues is usually challenging. It is in this consideration that this paper provides an informative review of the Dream act. In detail, it underscores the reasons that have been presented for its support and vice versa.

The development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act is commonly referred to as the Dream Act is a legislative bill that permeated legal domains in 2009. It proposed the need to provide residence for certain alien students on specific conditions. Currently, it is ascertained that this has marked a major step towards offering credible help to the minority students to attain education. In order to understand the implication that this would have on the entire welfare of the society, it is imperative to have a clear comprehension with respect to what it entails. Notably, the act is conditional and the criterion that is employed is not applicable to any minority student.

To begin with, the successful beneficiaries of this need to need to have immigrated to America during their childhood and before they hit sixteen years of age. In addition, they need to have resided in the country for a period of five years that precede the enactment of this act. Further, Boehm cites that for applicants to be considered for this opportunity, they need to have enrolled in an institution of higher learning for either two or four years (777). Further, they need to be bearers of a High School diploma. An alternative to this can be a General Education Development Certificate in this country. Most importantly, applicants should demonstrate a good ethical standing and lack any criminal record.

After satisfying all this, the students will be accorded a conditional permanent residency status. This is temporary and would be listed on fulfillment or satisfaction of the following factors. The Gale Reference Team ascertains that the respective student needs to attain a degree from a four or two year higher learning institution (88). Alternate to this is the ability to complete two years and demonstrate the ability to attain a degree in higher education while at the same time being able to maintain good morals. The second condition pertains to the need to have served in the army for a period of two years. If discharged, the student needs to have received an honorable discharge.

Pierre cites that this act offers protection from possible deportation and/ or work authorization for students who are above twelve years that are admitted in either primary or secondary schools. Students benefiting from the provisions of this act need to have met all the requirements of the act. In addition, the act is imperative because it also offers financial assistance to the students. At this point, emergent research ascertains that in most instances, students from minority background experience financial difficulties when pursuing their education. The act provides for access to a loan from the federal government for students who satisfy the conditions for permanent residency. Also worth mentioning is the fact that the act provides the legible applicants with federal work study programs. These are imperative in boosting their financial status and ensuring that they have a chance to not only complete their education but also secure credible professions as well as US residency.

As indicated earlier, the introduction of this act has led to the emergence of different controversies within the social community. While some consider this a moral cling and support the mission to help the minority students, some consider this to have underlying complexities that are bound to undermine the entire welfare of the dominant position. Yet some are undecided and still consider the procedure to have both beneficial and detrimental impacts. Analysis of these positions is imperative in understanding the perception of the society towards the subject under review.

In their consultative review, Editors argue that the bill is piecemeal nature and is likely to have adverse effects on the national budget. This is due to the act that the population is question makes insignificant contributions to taxes that are employed in providing education for the dominant population. The resultant strain would have devastating impacts on the middle class families. Notably, these struggle to keep their children in school and ensure that they have quality education. From a political point of view, it is argued that this is likely to undermine the capacity to enforce immigration laws and rules. This would in return compromise the ability to achieve the American dream as illegal immigrants would have an opportunity to share in their hard labored fruits. In the long run, his would benefit the aliens and empower them more than the natives who equally need such opportunities to cushion themselves against the emerging complex challenges.

Individuals that are opposed to the bill also cite that the students would use this opportunity to seek for green cards for their parents that brought them in the country illegally. This implies that the American resources would be employed in supporting and maintaining foreigners at the expense of the natives. Furthermore, Mehlman indicates that according aliens subsidized education is an inherent injustice to natives who also require such opportunities (1). As such, the government would be contravening the legal provision in this respect. In general, it undermines the worth of natives as the illegal aliens are given preference over them with regards to education. This is because of the fact that once the alien students make the application, the government does not have the right to deport the same regardless of the conduct thereafter. In such cases, it can be ascertained that the government accords more freedom and the right to engage in unlawful behavior to aliens at the expense of the natives.

Also, Pierre notes the application for permanent residency has not been given a deadline. According to him, this gives the aliens enough time to carry out nay mischief and benefit from the conditions. In addition, it implies that the population is bound to increase in the near future. This would have negative impact on the natives because of the relative effects on the budget of the country.

Conversely, there is the faction of the population that believes that this act has significant benefits not only on the affected students but on the American population at large. In his review, Monico notes that each year, graduates from high schools and those form higher learning institutions have diverse skills in various disciplines (1). In addition, these are usually young and considering the fact that they have stayed in the country for a considerable period of time, they understand the operations of the various sectors. However on completion of their studies, they are compelled by their immigration status to go back to their home country and enrich the work force. Giving them permanent residence in this regard plays an elemental role in tapping these skills and capacities.

Boehm asserts that the dream act prepares the country and empowers it to face the challenges of the global economy with ease (784). In this respect, it is indicated that the ability of a country to succeed in the current diversified economy depends on its capacity to create, acquire, distribute and employ the knowledge in development. This can only be attained if it focuses on enhancing education that imparts relevant skills to deal with the challenges in an effective manner. Essentially, the dream act seeks to attain this ideal status by ensuring that talented, multicultural, multilingual and motivated individuals have an opportunity to join the workforce of this country.

Proponents of the Dream Act ascertain that its passage would contribute significantly to tax revenues. This would ensure effective functioning of the federal, local as well as state governments that are currently experiencing financial difficulties. In this regard, a study undertaken by Monico indicates that college level Mexican citizens can contribute a significant $5300in taxes to the country. In addition, they would cost $3900 less with respect to government expenditure if they would have dropped out of the education system at a high school level. This would yield beneficial effects as the extra amount would be employed in educating other individuals and promoting economic growth and development.

At this juncture, it is argued that enabling the foreign students to further higher education would enable them to contribute optimally to the development of this country. In addition, it is notable that the American tax payers would have contributed significantly to the education of these foreign students. This is a form of investments that should bear fruits for the country. Letting them go means that the investment would have been lost as the respective students would benefit their countries with skills that are learnt during their education. In this regard, it is posited that the natives have a right to share in the benefits of their investments. This can only be attained if the alien students are given an option to remain in the country and offer the skills in economic production.

In his review, Pierre cites that the undocumented students are in most cases motivated and extremely talented (8). This is exemplified by the fact that they come from poor backgrounds and would have possibly overcome various challenges to attain the current position. For example, they need to abandon their culture, endure the difficulty of learning a second language and abandon their families. Further, they would have persisted in education and attained excellence irrespective of their receiving minimal help from parents and families. This shows that he have the ability to excel and should be given a chance to.

The Gale Reference Team also notes that global completion has led to the need for international institutions of higher learning to attract potential students (63). Having the right potential in this regard implies that the students are talented, motivated and have the skills to excel and function executively in the professional world. Denying the minority students who have exemplified these capacities, would encourage them to seek for other alternatives across the globe. This is likely to undermine the credibility of the country’s education system and boost other international institutions of higher learning. It is for this reason that Boehm argues that the students should be assimilated in the United States (795).

Further, current trends indicate that the country is likely to suffer detrimental effects with regard to labor force. This is because of the inherent generation gap that has been contributed to by a host of social and economic factors. Mainstreaming minority students in the economy according to proponents of this would have countering effects. In other words, the older generation would have sufficient resources for their maintenance when they quit the labor force.


From the preceding analysis, it is certain that minority issues are compounded by various complexities. The dream act has triggered a debate with respect to whether it should be enacted or not. While the opposition indicates that this would undermine the worth of the natives and has the capacity to strain the budget, the proponents contend that the relative economic benefits are immense. In addition, they indicate that the economic and social benefits would enable both present and future generations to lead a comfortable life.

Works Cited

Deborah, Boehm. For My Children: Constructing Family and Navigating the State in US-Mexico Transnation. Anthropological Quarterly, 81 (2008) 4: 776-803.

Editors. Fair : The Dream Act Illegal Amnesty. A Bad Idea at the Worst Possible Time. Retrieved 7th May, 2010 from: HYPERLINK “”

Espinoza, Pierre. Overview and Analysis of the Development, relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (Dream Act). Journal of Migration and Refugee Issues, The, 5(2009): 1-12.

Gabriela, Monico. Dream Act: Make it a Reality Soon. Retrieved 7th May, 2010 from:

Gale Reference Team. Make Dream Act Reality. USA: Thomson Gale, 2007.

Ira, Mehlman. Dream Over: Illegal Alien Student Amnesty Awakens to Fiscal Reality. Retrieved, 7th May, 2010 from:

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