Dream Act

When we lived in Texas, we knew a family that we stayed in relationship with for many years.  We first met the mother and then her daughter, “Juanita.”  Juanita is in her twenty’s and is married with two children.  Her husband maintains steady employment in the construction field and they own the home that they live in.  Juanita moved to Texas from Mexico with her parents when she was a little girl and has grown up there.

A few years ago, Juanita’s father died in Mexico and she wanted to go to the funeral.  The dilemma is that she was brought to the United States without proper documentation and, as such, is does not have U.S. documentation.  With that in mind, she risked a great deal to go to Mexico to attend her father’s funeral.

Her children (who are citizens of the United States based on the fact that they were born here) stayed in Texas so you can imagine her motivation to get back to the United States following the funeral.  She got turned back on her first attempt to illegally cross into Texas. On her second attempt, she packed her clothes in a plastic bag to keep them dry and swam in her underwear across the Rio Grande river. She went through this ordeal  to return to her family and the only life she had known since she was in elementary school.

Opinions will range from empathy to outrage and may go as far as to take exception with the citizenship of Juanita’s children (which is mandated by the Constitution of the United States).  Some will attempt to theoretically calculate what Juanita’s family and those like hers cost “us” in health care benefits.  Some people will determine that her husband is “taking” jobs that would be higher paying to citizens of the United States.  Some won’t like the fact that they can own property.

This is a tough issue, we can all agree.  The borders need to be secure if for no other reason, for the sake of security given the world climate especially evident since 09/11.  We need to be a country of laws which are respected and enforced, no doubt about it.  Economics matter and there needs to be equity and justice in services provided.

We also need to be a nation of decency and common sense.  Juanita, by reason of her age, did nothing wrong in being raised in Texas; it wasn’t her choice but that of her parents.  By reason of her humanity, it would be difficult to condemn her for  either going to her father’s funeral or crossing the river illegally to return to her family.  Before we judge too harshly, it is reasonable to consider, “what would I do?”

Recently, there was proposed legislation called the “Dream Act” in front of Congress that failed to get passed which would have solved the problem by providing avenues for legal status to undocumented residents who were brought to this country as minors.  Was that decision by our policy makers an accurate reflection on our nation’s attitude towards people like Juanita and, if so, are we really as decent as we claim?

3 thoughts on “Dream Act

  1. We are a decent nation. A giving nation. Without question, the most decent, giving nation on the face of the earth. We send disaster relief to our enemies in time of need, our churches have missions all across the world helping those in need, and we shed blood for sake of others’ freedoms. The question for me isn’t whether our decency is measured by the passage or non-passage of this law, but rather where does decency end and the respect and esteem for our laws and sovereignty begin. Do you think that the Dream Act is where all of this would end? I don’t. I think it’s the foot in the door so that many more Laws can be passed, each one a bit more liberal than the next. And I’m not sure how many riders were attached to this bill (earmarks) making it even less appealing to many of our new representatives in Congress who vowed to the American people to cut spending. I think before we pass laws that make illegals legal in this country, we ought to act on the laws already passed which state we are to build the walls and secure our borders. The Dream Act would only embolden more illegals to cross the border with their children in tow and disappear into our society as they have been doing for years. First things first. As for the question of what would I do…it is a tough question, but to be honest if presented with a choice of attending the funeral of one of my parents and possibly never seeing my kids again or at least for a long time, or missing the funeral knowing my parents were already gone and in a far better place…without hesitation, I choose my children.

  2. Your car is Japanese. Your vodka is Russian. Your pizza is Italian. Your kebab is Turkish. Your democracy is Greek. Your coffee is Brazilian. Your movies are American. Your tea is Tamil. Your shirt is Indian. Your oil is Saudi Arabian. Your electronics are Chinese. Your numbers – Arabic, your letters – Latin. And you complain that your neighbor is an immigrant? Pull yourself together!

  3. The Dream Act, was the first step in the right direction in solving the problem of illegal immigration.

    The steps required to obtain legal status in the country for the children of illegal immigrants would require that within the six year period of temporary residence, student’s must have received a degree from an institution of higher education in the United States or completed at least 2 years, in good standing, in a program for a bachelor’s degree or higher degree in the United States,” or have “served in the uniformed services for at least 2 years.

    The bill would have provided under its provisions, immigrants that would make a significant contribution, economically, as well as militarily. The Dream Act was not intended to be A free path to citizenship as led to believe by the opponents of the bill, but a challenge to each and every individual involved in the program.

    Republicans who strongly opposed the bill, calling it another form of amnesty, and a reward for illegal entry into the country were successful in their opposition, not withstanding the advice given by top officials of the Pentagon who favored the bill along with various civil rights groups.

    G.O.P. constituents made their voices heard in the November elections. Top and foremost on their agenda was immigration, which included blocking any attempt in providing a path for the children of illegal immigrants to become lawful citizens. Could this have been a once in a life time opportunity for America to finally establish a blue print for all future immigration policies?

    Tensions run deep when it comes to immigration. Negative publicity on the matter has played a major role in not being able to find a practical, and logical solution to the problem.

    Immigration reform is temporally out of service in Washington. Unfortunately the innocent children of undocumented aliens are caught up in the middle of a political feud between the Hatfields, (Democrats) and McCoys,( Republicans) with no bipartisan relief in sight. In addition, they face a nation unwilling to take into consideration the circumstances that led to their predicament.

    We identify ourselves as a nation of immigrants, and our assessment is correct. At the present time the country seems to be suffering from mass amnesia. Perhaps we should all take a closer look in the mirror, it might just bring to memory of what an immigrant looks like

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