The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM) would offer the opportunity for a small number of undocumented minors to have the chance to go to college despite not being legal citizens.
It would provide temporary residency for a qualified student to either complete two years in the military or at an institution of higher learning. If a student or soldier failed to meet these requirements or committed criminal acts, they would lose his or her residency.
Opponents of the bill claim that this is a backdoor way of granting amnesty to a subset of the illegal population in the United States.
We understand where they are coming from and recognize the danger that the DREAM Act might encourage more illegal immigration.
But the benefits of allowing a small group of highly-motivated and highly-skilled subset of young students to reach higher education will outweigh this drawback.
If these students are denied the right to college, their years of public school education, at U.S. taxpayer expense, will be wasted as these students turn to either low-skill jobs or crime.
Instead of benefiting the American economy and culture with their skills and unique perspective, these students fall through the cracks.
They are yet another victim of our federal governmentâ€™s paralysis on the immigration issue. While our country as a whole has realized for many years that we need comprehensive immigration reform, our federal politicians continue to drag their feet and deny us the reform we need.
As a result, we continue to pass piecemeal legislation, such as Arizonaâ€™s controversial law.
But unlike that law, the DREAM Act deserves to be passed. Itâ€™s time to stop harming talented students for the failures of our immigration system.