Opinions

DREAM Act hurts U.S. students

Given the economic plight this country has faced over the last few years, Americans should be concerned about the specific causes that their tax dollars are supporting. Certainly it’s reasonable to suggest that the education of the next generation is a worthy enough money-sucker—emphasis on the money-sucker bit.

In the past few weeks, the issue of tuition costs (more specifically, its tendency to rise to exorbitant levels) has become increasingly discussed and debated in the mainstream media. For example, anxiety over the 17.6 percent increase in the last two years have caused uproar in the notorious California UC system, producing headlines about “Occupy” movements on campuses as well as “Alleged Police Brutality” and “Chancellor Culpability.” Money is of the utmost importance to American citizens these days, and for students, a successful future seems directly dependent upon some form of educational achievement beyond a high school diploma. However, access higher education in this day and age is near impossible to achieve without a generous dip into one’s life’s savings.

With all of the animosity and anxiety over college tuition, then, one can only wonder how it came to be that California Governor Jerry Brown pledged his support for and signed both halves of the DREAM Act, a bill that would allow Congress to allocate funds through federal financial aid for the payment of college tuition across the nation. Its sounds like a pretty sweet deal—except that the tuitions to be paid are those of illegal immigrants and their children.

Brown is not the only governor to have voiced support for the controversial bill, which has been deemed both unpatriotic and morally wrong by those who oppose it. Republican presidential candidate and Governor Rick Perry stated that citizens who reject the bill simply “don’t have a heart.” However, I would argue that a certain measure of heartlessness is inherently present in support for and ratification of the DREAM Act. Passage of the bill could severely impede the ability of native Americans, as well as immigrants with legal status, from receiving the grants and scholarships they need. It is not that illegal immigrants have a lesser right to an education, but if the money is there to give, why should it be awarded to people who aren’t even citizens of our country?

President Obama, too, has been vocal in his support of the DREAM Act, on the grounds that it would be wrong to deny education to men and women, regardless of origin, because of their parents’ immigration status.

“In this country there is no ‘us’ or ‘them,’ there is only us —one nation, under God, indivisible and immigrants are part of that American family,”  Obama said.

Yes, it is true that legal immigrants are an integral addition to the melting pot that is America. But if illegal aliens are just as ‘American’ as John Doe, born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and now unable to procure a loan from FAFSA because his parents are documented workers with social security numbers, then why do we have immigration laws to begin with? And who will protect our life, liberty and pursuit of an education?

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