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About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

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    Posted August 14, 2011 by
    Creveca
    Location
    Saluda, South Carolina
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Boot camp: Pick your story

    More from Creveca

    Will their DREAMS come true?

     

    Will their DREAMs come true?

    "If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can DREAM it, you can become it."

    -William Arthur Ward

    (1921–1994)

     

    While thousands of recent high school graduates are getting ready to start their first year in college, others will not be able to achieve the goal of receiving a higher education. This population of youngsters, who are behind the scenes trying to pursue the American dream, is left behind because others made the decision for them about their future in this country.

     

    Many Hispanic parents have come to the United States to give their children the opportunity of a life better than the one they left behind. This includes not only a good home and a better opportunity to meet the family’s needs, but also the pursuing of a good education that would allow their children to live a comfortable life. However, it is hard for this dream to come true due to the students’ status that does not allow them to attend college by paying tuition as a local resident or, by obtaining federal financial aid.

     

    There have been several attempts to help these children have access to higher education. Some states, like California, have enacted bills that allow them to pay in-state college tuition. However, the bill that is currently in discussion would provide a path to permanent residency to certain undocumented students.

     

    In order to qualify under this bill, a student must have demonstrated a good moral character and must be a graduate of an American high school. Also, he must have arrived in the United States as a minor and lived here for at least five years before the passing of the bill. If he completes two years in the military or in a four-year institution of higher education, he would be able to get temporary residency for a period of six years. During this time, he must obtain a degree from any college or university in the United States or serve in the army for at least two years in order to apply for a legal permanent resident status. The age limit to qualify would be up to 35 years-old.

    The supporters of this bill praise the benefits for the American economy by allowing these students to become part of the labor market. They also contend that these children were brought as minors to this country by their parents without their consent, so they are not liable for their immigration status.

     

    One of these supporters is the Vice-president’s wife, Jill Biden, who has said that, “for our nation, the DREAM Act means success. It means enabling a new generation of immigrants who have grown up as Americans to improve themselves and help build our country through hard work, determination and patriotism.”

     

    Of course, as with any cause, this bill also has its detractors who argue that it would be like welcoming anyone to come illegally to this country and live as they please. They also allege that it would hurt the economy of the country since it would allow them to take the jobs that already belong to the American citizens.

     

    Jack Martin, from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), has said that “the basic problem with the DREAM Act is that because it is a form of amnesty, it sends the message abroad that we really don't care if people enter the United States illegally.”

     

    The fight for the DREAM Act continues, with both factions trying to attract supporters for their side. Meanwhile, thousands and thousands of undocumented students long for the day they are able to become legal citizens of the United States and contribute to the economic development of the country where they have grown up and studied.   

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