House Passes Citizenship Bill for Children of Illegal Immigrants

The House of Representatives passed a bill that will provide a conditional path to citizenship for as many as 500,000 children of illegal immigrants. The Development, Relief, and Education of Alien Minor (DREAM) act will allow immigrants who are younger than 30, entered the United States before the age of 16, lived here for 5 years without committing a serious crime, graduated from high school and attended college or joined the military to be eligible for legal residency after meeting other criteria. This act will help to about 300,000 to 500,000 undocumented immigrants.

Democratic leaders said that passing this act is the right thing to do to help the nation’s economy and military and a way to enhance the lives of those who may have entered the country illegally with their families but have been raised as Americans. Rep. Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat stated “These people covered under this bill are the children any parent would be proud of: our sons and daughter, neighbors, classmates, prom kings and queens, football players, and cheerleaders who stayed in school, played the rules, stayed out of trouble.” “If you are pulled over for a speeding ticket and you have a child in a car seat next to you, that 2-year-old doesn’t get the speeding ticket. If there is a bank robber with a toddler in the back seat, that toddler doesnt spent his life in prison.”

Republican opponents called the DREAM act “a nightmare” bill that ignores the rule of law and could potentially take jobs away from legal American workers at a time of high unemployment. Also, that it would lead to illegal immigrants submitting fraudulent academic records and papers to become eligible for that act. Rep. Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican stated “The act will take jobs away from American citizens, especially legal minorities struggling for work. The percentage of Hispanics out of work last month rose 13 percent and the unemployment rate for Black Americans  has hit 16 percent.”

I think the DREAM act has pros and cons. I don’t necessarily think that this will affect the jobs of Americans too much. To me it seems like its going to help people who are in the wrong to do right. They came here illegally and has raised their children to do right, so as a reward their child can become a legal U.S. citizen. This sounds like it’s an alright idea and could work out, but I see two possible problems. Does the parents of the newly legal immigrant get deported back to their homeland? Or do they get a possibility to get legalized as well? Also, will this act make more illegal immigrants come to the U.S. and purposely have children?

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