To the Editor,
In a previous week’s Letters to the Editor, a writer excoriated President Obama for “overturning a bill in Congress to deport 300,000 illegal immigrants.” (“Anything for votes!” LCN, 9/22/11, Page 4) He then referred to the “Dream Act” as an “amnesty program that was put into place despite the fact that many of these ‘illegals’ had criminal records.”
Dealing with the problem of illegal immigrants has baffled the United States government for decades and the DREAM Act (acronym for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors), according to Wikipedia, “is an American legislative proposal first introduced in the Senate on Aug. 1, 2001 and most recently on May 11, 2011, when the bill was re-introduced in the U.S. Senate.”
Of course, in 2001 we had a Republican president, who with the backing of members of both parties, passed this law. Today, we have a Democrat president who supports the same act.
So what is the DREAM Act? It is a “bill that provides conditional permanent residency to certain illegal alien-students of good moral character who graduate from U.S. high schools, arrive in the U.S. as minors, and lived in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill’s enactment. If they were to complete two years in the military or two years at a four year institution of higher learning, the student would obtain temporary residency for a six year period.”
The key phrase here is “good moral character,” which has a legal definition and that definition disqualifies anyone with a criminal record.
So, to claim that the DREAM Act allows immigrants with criminal records to remain in this amnesty program is gross misinformation intended to instill fear and distrust in all immigrants. Distorting the truth is disingenuous and dishonest, since many in our citizenry do not know the intent of the DREAM Act.
Our elected officials, in voting for this federal legislation, are attempting to solve a huge problem and if the Congressional Budget Office is close to being accurate, the DREAM Act would “reduce deficits by about $1.4 billion over the 2011-2020 period and increase government revenues by $2.3 billion over the next 10 years.”
The DREAM Act is encouraging the best and the brightest of the illegal immigrants and helping them become positive assets in our society.
Does the DREAM Act solve the illegal immigrant dilemma? Absolutely not, but it does, to some degree help address the problem by finding the brightest of the illegal immigrants so that they can, in the long run, benefit our society.
The writer also insinuates that illegal immigrants take jobs away from American workers and if that is actually so, the Americans who hire illegal immigrants are perpetuating the problem.
To the Editor,