The DREAM Act: blending baby with bath water *UPDATED*

I heartily disapprove of half of the DREAM Act.  For those who are unfamiliar with it, the WSJ describes it as follows:

The bill would grant six years of legal residency to high-school graduates who have lived in the U.S. continuously for five years and arrived by the age of 15. They would become eligible for citizenship if they attend college or serve in the military for two years during the legal residency period.

While I don’t have any problem with granting citizenship to people who are willing to fight and, if necessary, die for our country, I cannot for the life of me see why we should grant citizenship to illegal aliens who have taken up space at American colleges and universities that could otherwise have gone to children who reside legally in the United States.  Can you explain to me why kids who are hogging American resources should be rewarded with citizenship?

By the way, please don’t tell me that it’s not fair that these kids should be penalized just because their parents came here illegally.  Life is tough.  We routinely penalize kids whose parents don’t raise them well.  If your Mom and Dad are dumb as posts, and cannot climb the socioeconomic ladder, we don’t offer you rewards because of that.  Parents make choices and kids suffer them.  That’s life.

If you would like to see the current iteration of the DREAM Act tabled, Michelle Malkin has info about what you can do.

UPDATEVDH doesn’t even like the military part of the DREAM Act.  He says, logically enough, that a right one sphere of human behavior shouldn’t be used as a pass for a wrong in another sphere of human behavior.  I agree with that for those who came illegally to this country as adults.  However, for those who were children — say, under 14 when they came here — I think it is a good way to allow the child to get away from the parents’ sins.

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  • BrianE

    I disagree with you on this one BW. My #1 daughter and his husband are educators in a predominately Mexican-American school district that may actually be predominately Mexican.
     
    Many of the kids, by the time they are in high school, have lost touch with their Mexican roots. What it makes them is a stranger in a strange land.
     
    I think the sensible things is to offer them a path to citizenship, based on their ability to assimilate to the basics of American culture. One of the difficulties I’m beginning to understand is the danger of immigrants failing to give up their old culture for an American one.
     
    Of course, it seems we are having difficulty in deciding what American culture and values should look like. At one time you might describe Americans as having a sense of personal and national destiny with a healthy dose of the Puritan work ethic, a positive attitude toward the future and a willingness to help their neighbor.
     
    But if immigrants (and I mean the legal as well as the illegal ones) just transplant their old culture and values all we have done is move us slightly closure to a third-world culture. At one time a new immigrant, before the time of social largess, quickly learned the value of hard work, since one would quickly starve without it.
     
    Now new immigrants, who might otherwise be productive citizens may discover the benefits of our “safety net” which means they also don’t discover the potential of the American dream. Not only do they not see the benefit of the social mobility America offers, they never fully become “Americanized”.
     
    I’m on board with never giving the parents of these kids citizenship status– though I’m not sure the idea of ’rounding them all up and shipping them home’ is a viable strategy anyway. But we do need to find a way to assimilate most of these kids.
     
    In the end don’t we want citizens that buy into the American way of life– that want to be productive and contribute to the only homeland many of them know?

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    BrianE: You have a point about these Americanized kids. We essentially fail them when we don’t return the families to their point of origin right away. But university shouldn’t be the path to citizenship. For one thing, American universities teach them to be American-hating Leftists. Also, I still don’t think that’s a resource we should hand out freely. Can you think of something other than university and military service (which I agree is not for everyone) that would be a good path for citizenship for these children. I want the path to be one that sees them loving this country, but not hogging resources to which I really don’t think they’re entitled.