DREAM Act not a reality


Hidden beneath the idealistic vision of a “dream school” is the assumption that every young student or young person has an implicit right to dream this dream.

For some people, however, that dream might never become a reality: In December 2010, the Senate blocked the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, a bill that would provide a path for young illegal immigrants to attend college and eventually become legal U.S. citizens despite their current illegal status.

The DREAM Act requires students to have arrived in the United States before age 16 and have completed two years of college education or military service. The students have six years in which to complete their education or service, and upon doing so, can obtain legal U.S. citizenship.

Though the immigration debate is complex and requires a cautious approach, opponents were basing their argument on an incorrect assumption, criticizing the bill for granting amnesty to undeserving people and for encouraging more illegal immigration.

“Dream school” is a commonplace phrase for students today. High schoolers pin their hopes and aspirations onto the college that they think will allow their dreams to come true.

Both college and the military provide space for community, connection and growth. These are the kind of places young people need to motivate themselves and realize their dreams.

Is that a requirement for citizenship? Not really. But it is something any young person who is willing to apply themselves deserves, citizen or not.

The DREAM Act is motivated by a humane vision of young illegal immigrants and their genuine needs as human beings, not as faceless illegal immigrants.

It’s also motivated by the belief that the societal benefits of education compensate for doubts about whether or not citizenship is deserved.

A limited rhetoric dominates our nation’s anti-immigrant debate and doesn’t allow for an understanding of the value of potential DREAM Act students, and in a broader sense, the value of our educational system. The fact that the DREAM Act uses education as a path to citizenship points to the power and role education has to change lives.

On the The Daily Beast, an anonymous illegal immigrant student, who has lived in the U.S. since she was four years old and is now a senior at Harvard University, described her challenges as an undocumented college student.

“School has always been my sanctuary … a respite from reality, a place where I could be loved and appreciated for my mind and my heart.”

Education holds this unique power as a space without borders — separate but not disconnected from the burdens of reality — where everyone is allowed equal opportunity to dream.

For the DREAM Act to pass, we need to adjust our mindset about illegal immigration is necessary. It should be understood that everyone, regardless of where they were born or where they are now, needs a sanctuary. A dream school. A place to dream. Or maybe just a dream.

As students at USC who are being allowed to live this dream, we understand the value of education and community.

The young people fighting for the passage of this bill are not criminals. They are immigrants, brought here by their parents, who grew up and were educated in the United States.

Why should they not be able to dream like those of us who were born here?

Elena Kadvany is a senior majoring in journalism and spanish.

  • Lucas

    Immigration works only if you get rid of the welfare state.

  • Teresa

    There are illegal immigrants from all over the world NOT just Mexico. Everyone that comes here has to face many dangers and many times might end up not making it alive. Most leave everything behind for the search of a better future and to fly from the discriminations and horrible conditions in their native countries. They end up doing the jobs that no “AMERICAN CITIZENS” want to do and in return help the economy because YESSSSSSS! They do pay taxes! Since, they are “illegals” they don’t get to get their money back and that ends up staying with Uncle Sam and feeding all lazzy “AMERICAN CITIZENS”. I feel the urge to vomit to see just how many ignorant people are just talking from their butts and with zero consideration to the Dreamers, who only want a better future. The fact that illegal immigrant students who are in prestigious schools such as Harvard, USC, UCLA and so on are denied their chance to citizenship….while a bunch of lazzy “AMERICAN CITIZENS” can’t even graduate from high school makes me want to throw up. It’s a shame that people who say are “AMERICANS” talk with such a hate against people who do nothing to them but instead might bring bright things to the country that the “NATIVE CITIZENS” lack to provide . What makes me want to laugh in disgust is that all of the ones who show up such a American Pride are just a bunch of idiots that also come from immigrant backgrounds because in the U.S.A. the only real Americans are Native Indians. Instead of complaining and blaming all the economy problems on immigrants people should start working and stop depending on wellfare and learn from the “aliens” who do nothing but work hard and should have their head held up high.
    P.S.
    Elena Kadvany you are an amazing writer.
    The Dream Act will be a reality soon:)

    • Maria

      You really want to “laugh in disgust” at the people commenting here, Theresa? My that’s a nice way to treat the nice, law-abiding, taxpaying people who pay for all of your free stuff.

  • Joe Justice

    millions have come from Mexico illegally, have overstayed visas and stolen across our borders like sneak thieves, disrespecting our laws, culture and citizens. They are anarchists, further breaking our laws by using stolen Social Security numbers, fraudulent identity documents, driving without valid licenses or insurance, lying on I-9 forms and taking American jobs in an unholy alliance with criminal employers. They suck services and tax dollars from our economy and could care less about the very real and very extensive economic damage they have caused to American workers through lost jobs and reduced wages. They are dishonest with poor integrity and tarnished character. They have proven themselves to be unworthy of the most valuable citizenship in the world. The same holds true for illegal aliens of all nations.

    • Teresa

      There are illegal immigrants from all over the world NOT just Mexico. Everyone that comes here has to face many dangers and many times might end up not making it alive. Most leave everything behind for the search of a better future and to fly from the discriminations and horrible conditions in their native countries. They end up doing the jobs that no “AMERICAN CITIZENS” want to do and in return help the economy because YESSSSSSS! They do pay taxes! Since, they are “illegals” they don’t get to get their money back and that ends up staying with Uncle Sam and feeding all lazzy “AMERICAN CITIZENS”. I feel the urge to vomit to see just how many ignorant people are just talking from their butts and with zero consideration to the Dreamers, who only want a better future. The fact that illegal immigrant students who are in prestigious schools such as Harvard, USC, UCLA and so on are denied their chance to citizenship….while a bunch of lazzy “AMERICAN CITIZENS” can’t even graduate from high school makes me want to throw up. It’s a shame that people who say are “AMERICANS” talk with such a hate against people who do nothing to them but instead might bring bright things to the country that the “NATIVE CITIZENS” lack to provide . What makes me want to laugh in disgust is that all of the ones who show up such a American Pride are just a bunch of idiots that also come from immigrant backgrounds because in the U.S.A. the only real Americans are Native Indians. Instead of complaining and blaming all the economy problems on immigrants people should start working and stop depending on wellfare and learn from the “aliens” who do nothing but work hard and should have their head held up high.

      • Maria

        Just more rude talk and insults directed at native-born Americans and taxpayers. Typical! Funny how my reply to self-righteous “Nina” was taken down as I guess it was too “unkind” but insults and name-calling directed at native-born Americans are allowed to remain.

        All the “arguments” here from the pro-illegal side boil down to one single thing: “We want free stuff from the gringoes. The gringoes have stuff that we don’t have, and we want it. ”

        At least have the decency and honesty to admit it.

  • Weiner Boy

    The Dream Act’s final nail was hammered in its coffin. So why the commotion? Many of you are too emotional; state specious accounts of your stance for or against it; make rash generalizations; don’t expound on any of your premises; write superfluous fluff…and sadly, don’t know WTF you’re talking about.

    Oh, btw, I was against the Dream Act.

  • Stephen

    The purpose of immigration laws are to protect the host country’s economy and citizens. The US has the most generous immigration laws of any nation on earth. More than 3 million immigrants come to the US annually, more than the rest of the world combined! Illegal immigration drives down wages, drains scarce resources, and overwhelms social services. You can’t blame the poor illegal immigrants for wanting to better their situation, it is human nature. Just don’t expect Americans to justify it during the worst economy since the Great Depression. Some people have very sad, compelling stories that are inspirational. Yet, the reality remains the same. Without enforcement of our immigration laws, our nation and citizens will continue to suffer.

  • SMA

    To All The Selfish and Ignorant Writers:
    I don’t even have to read your comments thoroughly to know you are spoiled little imbeciles. Have you ever really looked more into this then what was headlined. Or, do you just run your pesky imperfect mouths as you feel you have the right to. Any money is not free, but I’m not the least bit suprised that you wouldn’t know this. You do not look beyond yourself. Yet, you do not see in turn how this may benefit You. Ignorance is a sad sad thing and to think some of you are almni. What a joke. This state is in up to their head but many of you can’t see pass the word illegal. Have you all lost your imagination? Profits can be made here. It’s actually very simple, maybe you are just too stupid to get it. Because in the end we are all people. These are the ones who are going to live, work, and ultimately be beside you. I don’t know about you, but I want a productive society in the future. What better way to make this future a reality, then to educate the ones around us as we are educated. I seek progression. Are you really that lazy of a being, that you to turn to insolent remarks and lay hopeful for a better future for yourself. From the poorest to the richest person in the world you’ll never amount to anything if you don’t believe that things will always change. You must adapt. Accept what your peers don’t because this isn’t a production line and we are individuals. What if it were you? I bet that mostly all of you have no idea, not even a clue. You talk about breaking the law and this and that. All I see is excuses. It’s the funniest thing to see you feel threatened and it shows. If you only accepted what MUST be done we can move foward as a society. Your all nothing but a racist ignorant group, you can go back and forth and say “illegals need to leave” but I bet there is at least one person in your life who you might not expect to be illegal but is. The funniest part about your comments is that they are all the same. NO one of them are different. That’s how you can tell you are all so ignorant. What a shame. The bottom line is that you are selfish, scared, spoiled little brats. You are afraid that illegal immigrants are better than you and you’ll lose what you have not because of FUNDS but because of competition. I feel so embarrassed that you are the people who walk this earth with me. None of you understand, nor will you ever understand, because you don’t take into consideration other perspectives of this issue… and the sad thing is you probably never will.

    Just to clarify some issues you have brought up
    -NOT ALL ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ARE FROM MEXICO
    -YOUR GOVERNMENT ALLOWS THESE CRIMINALS BECAUSE ABOVE ALL THEY MAKE MONEY THAT THEY TRY TO HIDE FROM YOU
    -FOR ALL YOU TRYING TO DISPLAY THIS PEACEFUL WORLD, YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT 1. IF ILLEGALS WERE GONE THE CRIMES WOULDN’T STOP OR LOWER. AND 2. IF THEY WERE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY THAT THE DREAM ACT PROVIDES IT WILL ONLY SHOW THAT MORE CITIZENS ARE COMMITING THE CRIMES.
    -IF WE ONLY ACCEPTED THAT ILLEGALS ARE GOING TO BE HERE WE CAN MAKE REVENUE BY LETTING THEM OBTAIN A DRIVERS LICENSE, JOBS FILLED = MORE SPENDING, ECT. THERE IS A LOT OF MONEY TO BE MADE.
    -THE AMERICAN DREAM IS NOT DESTROYED BY ILLEGALS IF YOU KNOW YOUR HISTORY YOU WOULD SEE THAT ITS BECAUSE OF ILLEGALS THAT CAME TO THIS COUNTRY WAY BACK WHEN IS WHY THE AMERICAN DREAM EXIST
    -AGE 30 IS A GREAT AGE, HOWEVER IT IS FAST APPROACHING FOR SOME SOONER THAN OTHERS, THESE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE GRADUATED FROM OUR SCHOOLS, TOOK SOME COLLEGE, WERE PRODUCTIVE UNLIKE THE 30 YEAR OLD CITIZEN WHO NEVER EVEN GOT HIS GED SITS ON THE COUCH ALL DAY AND LIVES AT HOME WITH HIS PARENTS
    -AS FOR beast, YOU ARE NOT EVEN WORTHY ENOUGH FOR CAPITAL LETTERS. IF YOU ARE TRULY AN IMMIGRANT WHO DID “IT” LEGALLY. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED TO UTTER A WORD. YOU SHOULD KNOW THE CHALLENGES THAT YOU FACED. SHOULD I HAVE TO REMIND YOU? BUT UNLIKE YOU MANY OF THESE WORTHY ILLEGALS KNOW HERE AS HOME. THEY NEVER BEEN OUTSIDE OF THE US OTHER THAN BEING BORN AND BROUGHT HERE. BUT YOU WOULDN’T KNOW THAT. YOU DID THINGS LEGALLY, RIGHT? YOU ARE A VERY JEALOUS PERSON I CAN SEE. JUST BECAUSE YOU HAD TO DO IT A CERTAIN WAY. IT IS YOUR SELFISHNESS, THAT MAKES YOU BELIEVE ILLEGALS ARE ACTUALLY ROBBING YOU. HOPEFULLY ITS NOT TO LATE FOR YOU, YOU NEED TO LOOK AT YOURSELF AND SAY WHY AM I TRYING TO DISCOURAGE PEOPLE FROM SUPPORTING OTHERS WHO ARE LIKE WHAT I USED TO BE. A PERSON STRUGGLING TO BETTER THEMSELVES AND HAVE A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR THEMSELVES WHEN ALL ODDS ARE AGAINST THEM. YOU HAVE TO PUT THINGS INTO PERSPECTIVE. THINGS ARE PROBABLY WAY MORE DIFFICULT FOR THEM THEN IT WAS FOR YOU. YOU PROBABLY HAD SUPPORT; WHEN THEY DON’T. I UNDERSTAND YOU MAY BE ANGRY BUT IS THIS REALLY HOW YOU WANT TO REPRESENT YOURSELF…
    -LAST BUT NOT LEAST ALL NON SUPPORTERS SHOULD TAKE A SECOND LOOK

    • Jupiterfl

      We are all SO TIRED of these illegal aliens coming here and demanding their “rights”, free education, free housing, food stamps, etc. We are also sick of hearing that they are all just coming here, “for a better life” (at the expense of ours of course)! YOU have worn out your welcome!! Go back to your crappy country and fix it!! I have a “Dream” too, it’s that all these criminal parasites go back to their country of citizenship!! How many more DUI’s, rapes and murders must we endure at the hands of these illegal aliens!?!?

    • Maria

      No one’s going to be persuaded by your hateful rhetoric and name-calling. This is just the short of rhetoric we hear all the time from illegals and their supporters. It’s all “gimme, gimme, gimme.”

      And when we say, “no, we are tired of giving,” we are called nasty names and abused.

      Well sorry but I’m sick of being insulted and abused by people who have their hands out demanding money and favors from me at the same time.

  • American

    People who are not authorized and in this country illegally deserve nothing but to be sent back to their own country. They should have a DREAM of being a good, law-abiding person by obeying our laws and DREAM of applying in the proper fashion to become a legal citizen. Americans have no obligation to pay for all the benefits of non-citizens. Perhaps these kids will learn a lesson about what happens and the consequences of skirting our laws. Don’t blame American society cuz we dont’ want millions of illegals, blame your parents for killing your dream.

    • Nina

      You are TOTALLY right American! There are no circumstances in which any illegal immigrant should EVER be allowed citizenship or the right to an education.

      For example, the 7 year old girl from El Salvador who’s family sent her to America by HERSELF to meet her 2 year old sister and mother who worked as a cleaning lady in Oakland, CA. Her father was caught by immigration coming across the border. Last week her mother and sister died in a fire that she survived. Her father will be deported after the funeral. She is 7 years old, alone, she has lost half of her family and her lone family member will be sent back to the country she just risked her life to escape from.

      You are right, she deserves to be treated like a criminal.

  • Beast

    Elena,

    As a Trojan Alum, I feel compelled to correct you on your seriously flawed assumptions on the Dream Act.

    There is NO verification on the documents submitted by illegal alien students, so someone could print a college diploma as well as a fake birth certificate and no one would check to see if it authentic or not. This would lead to wide spread fraud. How does someone here illegally prove that they have been here for 5 years? Why does this bill allow for people up to the age of 30? They are not minors in any sense of the word.

    We do not reward illegal behavior, it is the ultimate slap in the face for those who waited for legal status (the way that I had to.) I am an immigrant too, I came LEGALLY, I waited patiently. How fair is it for people like me who did it right, rather than someone who jumped the border. Should we allow these kids to take tests with an open book too?

    • Maria

      What was a family doing sending a seven year old kid on such a dangerous journey by HERSELF? And how are Americans responsible for the fact that her family is irresponsible?

  • Maria

    Already trying to spin the Arizona massacre to your political benefit, Anjamd? How truly disgusting.

    Saying things like “Education should have no borders” is impractical, utopian lefty dreaming. The American tax base certainly must have borders, or else we will be even more bankrupt than we are today!

    We cannot afford to finance an education for the entire world. A welfare state without borders is not mathematically possible.

    American college seats and taxpayer-funded college aid belong to American citizens, period. There’s nothing stopping Mexico or any other country from building up their own educational system so they can offer a “Dream” to their own people. The fact is, Mexico is so corrupt, hardly anybody pays taxes so there is no money for social services and education. That is not America’s fault.

    Shaming language should be directed at Mexico’s corrupt culture and government, not at American citizens. Mexicans, pay your taxes and build your own welfare state — we
    “gringoes” are maxed out.

    • Nina

      With all due respect Maria, “Utopian, lefty dreaming” isn’t always a bad thing. Particularly in an article that discusses everyone’s right to the DREAM of an education. The Dream Act is not proposing free handouts to every illegal immigrant. It is allowing children who have been brought over the border with their families without choice the opportunity to become educated, contributing members of society. There are victims of illegal immigration besides the Americans losing jobs to illegal immigrants. The true victims are children who are brought into this country with their families hoping to find opportunity and are met with hate, poverty, and no promise of a future.

      To immediately shut down the idea of dreaming that someday, we can offer the promise of a better future for ALL children is not an indicator of fiscal responsibility, as you probably think it is, it is a sign of blatant unkindness.

      And to call Anjamd disgusting is unfair. Steve’s right-wing babble linking all illegal immigrants to vicious crimes like rape and murder is what is disgusting.

      And before you decide where to direct your “shaming language” you should consider that not all illegal immigrants are Mexican. Talk about shameful.

  • Ed Weirdness

    Arguably, it is impossible to spread the concepts of democracy, economic equity, and social justice to other nations, so long as our immigration policies practically invite breaking our laws. Human nature will dictate that rather than remain in their native land and do the hard work of building reforms, it’s just easier to slip across our borders and take advantage of American taxpayer largess. Eventually, even the self serving liberals who insist that everyone has a right to live in our country, will have to accept inarguable facts. Overpopulation, congestion, urban sprawl, diminishing resources, crumbling infrastructure, vanishing farm land and green space, water and energy shortages, oppressive competition for jobs, housing, education, overcrowded schools and hospitals, lack of affordable housing, crime, pollution, depressed wages, increased tax burdens, the marginalization of American workers, taxpayers and voters, the overall decline in quality of life, are all the result of unconstrained immigration and lax enforcement. Pragmatically speaking, even if we were able to ‘educate’ all the worlds poor at taxpayer expense, flooding the markets with deeply appreciative third world ‘professionals’ willing to work for less, would only undermine the educational, economic interests of educated Americans such as those posting here. All labor, even educated labor, is merely the reflection of supply and demand. Right now America’s middle class and lower wage earners are suffering as never before from unconstrained immigration. Soon even the ‘educated’ who seem to feel that efforts to ‘stabilize our nations explosive population growth’ are racist, will begin to feel crushed by the growing demands of a population that is either too lazy, too self interested, or too cowardly to work to implement social and economic reforms in their own corrupt nations! Like it or not folks, logic and pragmatism have a way of compelling solutions that some of you may not agree with. Too many people competing for the same limited resources is NOT, and NEVER WILL BE sane, sustainable social, economic or environmental policy.

    Virtually every industrialized nation, China, Mexico, Great Britain, the European Union, Asia, the Middle East, have all adopted zero tolerance for illegal aliens, as well as strict enforcement and deportation policies. Further, the same nations have implemented policies aimed at curtailing legal immigration to only that which is prudent, that which is demonstrably necessary, that which is readily assimilated, and most important, limited only to that which is in the best interests of their native population. It’s dangerously misguided to suggest that the United States not do likewise. None of this is motivated by hatred or racism, but rather by the cold pragmatism of doing what’s right for generations of native born American’s who will have no say in the third world Babel that our present policies are creating!

    • Maria

      That is all true Ed Weirdness, but they are not capable of hearing you or understanding you. Remember, it’s their culture that made Mexico what it is today — a failed state. They do not understand the concepts or behaviors that are required to maintain a First World, successful country. If they did, Mexico wouldn’t be a failed state that they are all trying to leave.

      Harsh but true.

  • Alexis

    Elena, what part of “illegal” do you not understand? You break the law, then there’s a consequence. When you get a job and pay taxes, let me know how you feel about paying for free breakfast, free lunch, free bus transportation to/from school k-12, and then college for people who are in this country illegally. This doesn’t even include the medical costs, legal costs, and incarceration costs. When there’s no $ left in the bank, you have no money left to spend. There are limits to everything. Do you think Mexico would pay for the education and medical needs of Salvadorans & Guatemalans? Think again!

    • Betty

      Alexis,

      You are the worst.

      Happy new year!

      Love,
      Betty

    • Mark

      Alexis,

      Keep your stupid comments in your pocket,

      -Mark

      • Maria

        Now that’s really convincing political rhetoric. NOT!

  • Halibut

    A sympathetic group indeed, but any more sympathetic than the 18-20 million Americans who are out of work? We’re not talikng about the ‘huddled masses’ that will take ‘jobs Americans won’t do’. We’re talikg about a motly educated group of people who will compete for and take jobs that Americans DO want. First, the timing is bad, and second, the bill offers no preventative measures that will prevent illegal aliens from coming in in the future. Without such safeguards, this type of legislation will not pass muster with the American people.

  • Estoban

    Many elitist Americans speak very flippantly about the American Dream. It is totally unavailable to the 4 billion people in the world that survive on $2 or less a day, because they cannot steal across our border in the middle of the night. Our present mass of illegal invaders come from much better circumstances than those truly poor billions. The present mass of illegal invaders have, in an unholy alliance with greedy, criminal employers, actually destroyed the American Dream for millions of Americans by driving wages down and stealing paychecks from Americans by committing felonies, using stolen and/or forged SS numbers and other IDs.No ‘dream act’ until our own 43 million Americans living in poverty and 22 million unemployed Americans are addressed!

  • NO ILLEGALS 2011

    Every illegal needs to get packed and get in this new year. Im tired of hearing about wetbacks. Take your anchor babies back to mexico, we dont want them here. We dont want any illegals here……………..

    • G.V.

      Like you say you dont want illegals in your country!! You can Be more Respectful with theme cause i have to tell you something Illegals are who pay more taxes than you do and your country is everyday better because the illegals!! You should work hard.. like they does’ you want them out well go for it… and work more

  • steve

    Our Government, has allowed the invasion of 30 million criminals in direct violation of Article IV, Section IV of our Constitution. they force American tax payers to pay Billions to provide Welfare, Prison cells, Educate the invaders children, free medical care,massive document fraud, & are destroying our schools, hospitals, communities, culture while Robbing, Raping, Killing & Assaulting American Citizens WAKE UP PEOPLE!
    .youtube.com/watch?v=tsH8xvjTAlo
    .youtube.com/watch?v=Btj6IeOFkis&feature=player_embedded
    immigrationcounters.com/
    .ojjpac.org/memorial.asp
    .immigrationshumancost.org/
    .newswithviews.com/Wooldridge/frosty580.htm
    .youtube.com/watch?v=muw22wTePqQ
    .gopetition.com/petition/40860.html
    Every Non-representative including obama and holder need to be IMPEACHED! for not upholding the oath of office they swore to defend the Constitution! If these clowns were to do their job, this would all be a Moot point!
    Anchor babies and their criminal parents go, period, and cut the phony tears, you knew you were breaking the law when you crossed the border.

    Next shut down any business hiring illegal labor and confiscate all property belonging to the owner. Property will be sold at auction and the proceeds to pay for the massive deportation. Oh and owners go to jail.
    Got a better idea? Lets hear it!

    • Anjamd

      Steve ‘s been drinking the crazy tea. Your arguments and mindset gave us the tragedy in Tucson last Saturday. Dial it back and start taking your meds. When you are more sane, actually look at facts and figures not put forth by white supremacist anti immigrant organizations. You ll be surprised how much you been lied to.