Breaking Campus News. Launching Media Careers.
DREAM Act: Backing off the opposition

Last Friday, there was a group a of students who held a demonstration on Ho Plaza to show support for the currently pending DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act, which is essentially a bill that would provide financial aid to the children of illegal immigrants.

Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee has issued a document titled “Ten Things You Need to Know About the DREAM Act,” which shows why conservatives in the Senate are ready to oppose the bill’s passage. Among the concerns are the use of public dollars for non-citizens, the potential for criminals to be eligible for the program, and the ability of eligible individuals to sponsor their parents and relatives for immigration to the United States.

The last point stems from the fact that the legislation would allegedly give those eligible the same rights as American citizens. This would automatically allow them to sponsor family members in the immigration process. I expressed opposition to this bill last spring when President Skorton endorsed it. What I wrote then can be seen here.

At this point, however, I am unsure that outright opposition is wise stance for a myriad of reasons. Having such a program could provide an effective means of assimilation. The program already has a provision that will help those eligible learn English. It also provides for a rigorous pathway to citizenship that is much more involved than what would be considered pure amnesty. From a general perspective, providing opportunity to the children of illegals will help them integrate into the mainstream of American society economically. This is an important point as ethnic groups do not gain access to the cultural mainstream of America until they attain middle class economic status on aggregate. Since the nature of this program will cause it to mostly target Hispanics, the DREAM Act may go a long way in helping that demographic fully integrate into American society. Overall, the DREAM Act has a lot of potential to serve as a first step toward a comprehensive immigration solution and stem the cultural Balkanization of American society.

The Republicans’ desire to block the bill is not a good idea for reasons just described. There are times when pure opposition is a good idea, but this is not one of them. The Republicans ought to consider working so that there are ironclad provisions that will ensure those who participate in the program learn English, and have a pathway to citizenship that involves lessons regarding American history, the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, etc. If they can guarantee these, they should vote for the bill.

My apologies to the proponents of deportation. I am not a fan of the idea.

Peter Bouris blogs for the Cornell Insider. He is a contributor to the Student Free Press Association.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Please join the conversation about our stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, MeWe, Rumble, Gab, Minds and Gettr.