Clearly, the provisions of the DREAM Act would be of enormous benefit to the tens of thousand of undocumented Latino/Latina and Chicano students already living in the United States as well as the needs of the U.S. armed forces, but the act remains in legislative limbo at this time. Despite some initial hope following the election of President Barack Obama that the legislation would be fast-tracked for approval, particularly given its widespread support among organizations that also supported the new presidents campaign (Dervarics, 2008). According to the U.S. Congress, on May 14, 2009, the proposed legislation was referred to the House Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness (American Dream Act, 2010).
In response to these delays, there have been numerous demonstrations in support of the DREAM Act across the country in recent years. In this regard, Rincon reports that, “Beginning in Summer 2009, when more than 500 converged in DC for a national Dream Act graduation ceremony, students and their allies have organized a number of activities to build support for the this proposal culminating with the national Back to School Day of Action” (p. 13). Besides the well-attended rally in Washington, D.C. students across the country have also organized more than a hundred different events in 26 states to show their support of the proposed legislation, including petition drives at educational institutions, workshops, panels, rallies, forums (Rincon, 2010).
Complex problems typically require complex solutions, and this has been the case with illegal immigration throughout the nations history. The DREAM Act, though, was showed to be a straightforward approach to addressing this issue for tens of thousands of undocumented Latino/Latino and Chicano students who are already in the United States by helping them acquire permanent status in the U.S. In exchange for military service for those who elect to take this alternative. Military service has long been recognized as a path to citizenship in the United States, and the DREAM Act would simply continue this longstanding tradition. More importantly, it would do so during a period in Americas history when the armed forces need talented and educated young people to help fill the ranks, especially in leadership roles. Taken together, the DREAM Act just makes good sense.
American Dream Act. (2010). U.S. Congress. Retrieved from http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-
Dervarics, C. (2008, December 25). Some see Dream Act within reach. Diverse Issues in Higher
Education, 25(23), 5.
Garcia, J.B. (2004). in-state tuition for undocumented students and the Dream Act: Implications for higher education. College and University, 79(3), 35-37.
Palacios, M. (2010). The Dream Act explained. Journal of College Admission, 206, 2..