The DREAM Act - to put it succinctly - would provide young people who were brought to the United States as children an opportunity to work towards citizenship. It has had a contentious history since it was first proposed in 2001 and has faded in and out of the public discourse for some time.
If you are like El Guapo (don't you wish), recent DREAM Act news has revealed just how absurd this proposed legislation is. Undocumented young people, calling themselves DREAMers have been publicly making waves to lend their support to a cause that would provide them an opportunity to continue their education. If they're so smart, why aren't they hiding somewhere?
To these DREAMers, El Guapo says: Back to the shadows from whence you came, young ones. Yes, yes, please take your college aspirations and hopes of a middle class life with you, criminals and ne'er do wells. A law is a law is a law is a law. You broke one, and whether you did so while soiling your diaper or plotting your criminal schemes with your Etch-a-Sketch does not matter.
Here are some arguments El Guapo hears often for the DREAM Act and his air-tight, insightful rebuttal to each.
1. Cutting millions of kids off from higher education represents a massive national brain drain, a loss of real potential at an unfathomable scale. The US is shooting itself in the foot as it squanders potential young innovators and leaders.
By "shooting itself in the foot" do you mean ensuring that the laws of the land are followed? Without enforcing laws, we would all careen into anarchy. Additionally, the US has always had just and logical laws - well except that whole slavery thing...and, okay, prohibition was an interesting experience... but other than that. Well, sure, segregation, in hindsight, could have been tweaked... and that Japanese internment thing was definitely a learning experience, but overall The US laws and policy are noble and righteous.
2. The DREAM Act would encourage civic and military participation and educational attainment for many undocumented students who might otherwise recognize the institutional, legal ceilings in place and see school as an exercise in futility.
Nope. It wouldn't.
3. The Act will result in a real impact of several billions of dollars in government revenue resulting from higher wages earned and resulting tax collection. Additionally, more entrepreneurs and small business owners coming from these DREAMers would also be a nice little kick.
Nah. They broke laws by getting here. The last thing we need are individuals of questionable scruples running important things like banks and large corporations. Where would that get us?
4. Many undocumented would be able to come out of the shadows.
What's wrong with shadows? Some people like shadows. Snob.
5. It's unfair to blame young people for actions that were not their own.
Every human being is born with a moral compass, and the fact that as kids these young people did not at some point deport themselves and turn in their parents is evidence that these kids are morally bankrupt.
Oh, and sure guys like MLK made dreams sound great, but you know who else had dreams? Charles Manson.
Your handsome and humble servant-
Aside: The DREAM Act for many politicians lies close enough to the word "amnesty" to scare them away. Sure Ronald Reagan, the Republican deity, was the last president to provide amnesty to the undocumented, but he did so ironically.
Image Courtesy Lalo Alcaraz ©2011 Signed prints are available at www.laloalcaraz.com