- Posted September 25, 2011 by
Saluda, South Carolina
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Boot camp: Headline writing & story building
The American DREAM
1. The pursuing of a DREAM.
2. The DREAM that has had difficulty coming true
3. America, where DREAMs come true.
If we look for the word immigration in any dictionary, we would find a definition such as "the process by which a person enters a country in order to become a permanent resident thereof."
Foreigners see the United State as a land of opportunities where dreams come true. With that in mind, they come to this country with the desire of building a better future for themselves and their families. Many of them go through the long legal process to get the much awaited Green Card, a necessary step to becoming U.S. citizens. Others, however, opt to follow the fastest way by entering through the back door, becoming foreigners in the shadows due to the limited possibilities of becoming legal residents through the legal process.
For years illegal immigrants have worked under the table to give their children a better life. Some of these children were born in this country and have all the rights of a U.S. citizen. Others, however, arrived at a tender age and grew up like any other youth of this country, feeling as American as anyone of his age.
These young people, brought by their parents at an early age, strive to obtain their high school diploma and attend college. However, their immigration status prevents them from achieving the dream of a college degree and becoming upstanding citizens. Their only hope is the approval of the federal DREAM Act.
The DREAM Act would allow young people to obtain permanent residence and the right to become U.S. citizens. However, 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 higher degree or continue serving in the army in order to apply for a legal permanent resident status. The age limit to qualify would be up to 35 years-old.
The issue about illegal immigration has been a latent topic in American society that has become a political banner. Each time Americans need to elect a new president or reelect the current one, this theme emerges more strongly in debates among candidates, campaigns at national level and in any media that serves to alert the masses of this “cancer” that corrodes the American legal system.
Meanwhile, the young people struggle to open the door that allows them to continue their studies and achieve the long-awaited legal residency through this law. On the other hand, critics argue that it would be like announcing to the world that any foreigner can come and stay illegally in the United States since he would receive an amnesty as a reward, achieving residency and citizenship more quickly. It is a debate with a long-term solution.