In the 21st Century this country has reached a crossroads as it relates to immigration. The rift between those for and against is getting wider and nearly un-breach-able and something must be done soon or this great nation will loose one of its most important resources, responsible, hard working, upward motivated peoples from other countries who desire all that the American dream has to offer and in return giving this nation more of what makes it a unique quilted rich tapestry of culture, talent and color.
There are those on both sides of the political aisle who see this important issue as a means to further divide this country on ideological grounds in order to put forth their own political agenda. They have no desire to bring a solution to the table but are very content to keep the status quo, a position that only sees more and more pain and rhetoric for the future. There is also real fear in the hearts and minds of many Americans because of so many horror stories that have taken place on America’s border with Mexico. Since 9/11 most of these fears are real and warranted. But at the same time certain political pundits have used that fear to drive a deeper wedge between sincere Americans desiring a real lasting solution to the problem.
There are those in Congress that are sincere about getting at the heart of the immigration fiasco now going on. Men like Senators Marco Rubio, Dick Durbin and Orrin Hatch. They do understand that this must be an effort that comes from both major parties working together for the betterment of the American people and not the advancement of any party platform or political candidate running for office. Durbin and Hatch have put together an immigration policy dubbed The Dream Act. It has many supporters on the hill and, of course, many detractors. However, since this is the only plan on the table at this time if bears a review. It certainly can’t be worse then President Obama’s cowboy plan he put forth without any Congressional support or debate but was jammed down the people’s throats via Executive Order just so he can rally the Latino vote this coming November.
Right up front I will state that The Dream Act has some fine points and some horrific ones as well. Before either the House or Senate would enact it changes would have to be made to fill in the gaps it is obviously missing. The Dream Act stands for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors. It is designed to grant illegal aliens certain guaranteed rights leading to citizenship if some specific criteria are met. One of the most important of these is documented proof that these young people have been in the United States illegally before the age of 16 and were brought here through no fault or decision of their own. If they meet the other stipulations of the Act, such as serving in the military on active duty for a period of no less than 2 years ( a typical U.S. Army enlistment commitment) and honorably discharged, or studied at a U.S. university for a minimum of 2 years maintaining a passing grade point average and acceptable attendance record, been a person of good moral character with no arrest record, and is a U.S. high school graduate then they would be afforded the status of permanent resident without fear of deportation by the INS. They would not be called a legal resident but would be allowed to get at the back of the line for application to obtain the necessary documentation for becoming legal citizens of this country. Currently there are nearly 1,000,000 people legally coming to the United States every year to apply for legal status with nearly 50,000 000 already in that line.
Critics of the Act claim that to make this the new law of the land would encourage more illegal aliens to come to this country without getting in that line. As parts of the bill is written at this time I tend to agree with the critics, however, with some fine-tuning and delicate compromise from members of both houses of Congress those glaring loop-holes could be fixed making The Dream Act a viable solution to a current serious immigration problem. The only question is - just how serious is the federal government at this time for fixing the problem? All indications are, but for a handful of men and women (like those I mentioned earlier), there are very few willing to be States-persons. Our President certainly isn’t one whose on board to show any readiness to bring the two parties together so they can fulfill one of the Fed’s only real duties - the protection of our borders and immigration control.
Whatever future immigration policy finally gets enacted it must meet three high water marks: Be Legal - Be Fair - Be Compassionate and a fourth - Be Enforced.