Friday, March 27, 2009

The D.R.E.A.M. Act Symposium

On April 9, from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Central Dallas Ministries, Southern Methodist University's School of Education and Human Development, the American Jewish Committee and Catholic Charities of Dallas, will be among the sponsors of the D.R.E.A.M. Act Symposium to be held on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The keynote speaker will be Frank Sharry, founder of America's Voice a national immigration policy and advocacy organization.

The D.R.E.A.M. (the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act, would provide certain immigrant students who graduate from an American High School, are of good moral character, arrived in the US as children, and have been in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill's enactment, the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency. The students will obtain temporary residency for a lapse of six years. Within the six year period, a qualified student must attend college, and earn a two year degree, or serve in the military for two years in order to earn citizenship after the six years period. If student does not comply with either his/her college requirement or military service requirement, temporary residency will be taken away and student will be subjected to deportation.

Without passage of the D.R.E.A.M. Act, children and youth, many of whom know no other country but ours, risk deportation through no fault of their own. Critics suggest that these children's simply suffer the 'illegal' action of their parents. But consider the fact that we accept responsibility for AND pay for their public education in most cases for 12 years. They've played on football teams, been valedictorian or salutatorian. They have volunteered and been members of churches. They only ask for the opportunity to continue their education or serve our country and have the prospect of becoming citizens. This country can only benefit from the passage of this legislation.

The D.R.E.A.M. Act is an important interim step. It would probably be totally unnecessary, if our country had a coherent immigration policy. Until that time comes allowing children who are already a part of our society - who are not causing trouble and only want a viable future only makes sense.

I look forward to seeing you at the D.R.E.A.M. Act Symposium at SMU. Come and learn that this legislation and real comprehensive immigration reform don't have to be threats, they can be wonderful opportunities for our country.

Liz Cedillo-Pereira, a wonderfully committed immigration attorney in Dallas had the wonderful opportunity to ask President Obama that the D.R.E.A.M. Act needs to be passed. His reaction? "When it comes across my desk, I'll sign it..."

Let's get it on his desk!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Now this is an idea I like, and while we are at it - why no allow murderers who are not caught for five years after their crime amnesty?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

A 5 year old child is brought into this country by her parents. Obviously she has no choice in the matter. She goes to school and "keeps her nose clean." Now she's 18. She just graduated from high school. But she can't work to support herself - she's not an American citizen. Nor is she Mexican - her Spanish is weak and she has no recollection of Mexico and has never been there. The DREAM Act would give her a chance at citizemship, only after further proof that she would make a good citizen (college, army, etc.).

And you would compare her to a murderer. Not only is the logic (more than) flawed, but you are a cold hearted b@#*%#.

Anonymous said...

Actually, with the sole exception of murderers, we do allow a kind of "amnesty" for all other crimes. It's called a statute of limitations. Except for murder (which has no SL), every crime "expires" somewhere between 2and 10 years after it is committed, and can no longer be prosecuted. So, using this analogy, let's say crossing the border without permission were a Class A misdemeanor, or even a 3rd degree felony. (It's not. It's only a civil infraction.) Then it should, by analogy to the SL for other "crimes," expire and not be subject to prosecution about 2 to 5years after commission.