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DREAM Act is way of ending nightmarish mess

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POSTED July 25, 2010 1:43 a.m.
At first glance the DREAM Act stalled on Capitol Hill looks like a nightmare for those who believe America is being turned over to illegal immigrants.

The proposed DREAM legislation – which stands for Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors – would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented students who meet certain requirements and who have graduated high school that want to continue to college or enlist in the military.

Opponents contend the DREAM Act is unfair to those families that have immigrated to America legally and simply awards illegal behavior. In the simple context of black and white they are right. But anyone who has lived in California for more than a generation or two know there is a heck of a lot of gray out there especially in the working class world of the Central Valley.

First and foremost why should America forsake its investment in the young people of illegal residents who have no intention of returning to their native lands and want to improve their lot in life by becoming productive members of our society to help make the United States more competitive in the world or defend this country by serving America in the military?

These are not the children of illegal immigrants who are born legally in this country and therefore have a claim as an American citizen. Instead, these are often teens - and young adults – who came here while still toddlers or preschoolers who know no other world but America.

Yes, the argument about the world forcing its yearning masses on our society – and in many cases social services system – through illegal immigration is legitimate.

Buy why after we’ve foot the bill through public schools and such to educate the “illegals” who are striving to become productive citizens do we want to basically keep them in the shadows of non-citizenship or deport them?

Deport those who are violent or are drug dealers such as the ones San Francisco’s political hierarchy seems hell bent to coddle and protect from immigration authorities. But to export people who are on the verge of becoming productive by denying them citizenship after the country has invested in them is a tad short sighted.

 Real anger should be directed at government policies borne from the Civil Rights Act in 1965 and designed to use affirmative action to improve the lot of African-Americans who for centuries were systematically discriminated against. Those policies have been high-jacked to give legal immigrants a boost ahead of those whose families have been in America for generations if not centuries.

In essence various programs from the Small Business Administration to rules governing the distribution of education grants give recently arrived immigrants government assistance to move ahead of similarly situated whites that have been Americans for generations. At the same time African-Americans, the original intended recipients of affirmative action benefits, are helped even less.

First and foremost citizens regardless of their color should be on even footing when they are similarly situated.

Providing such assistance to people who immigrate here – legally or otherwise – ahead of citizens regardless of color is plain wrong.

Undocumented minor aliens - whether you like or not – are part of this country’s economic fabric. The idea, of course, is that each generation that enters adulthood will become productive citizens to pay back the country and pave the way for the next generation.

They have already been benefactors of the system and often times have parents who have paid taxes and such even though they are illegals. Why not give them the chance to pay America back by becoming productive citizens or to defend the country instead of either keeping them in twilight status or shipping them off to their native country when they have done nothing illegal except for being here illegally?

The people who will raise America up are more likely to be the ones who have toiled and struggled here growing up and not the newly arrived who often times take advantage of the grotesque twisting of the Civil Rights Act to get what many astutely perceive as a free hand out.

We need to stop looking at issues of immigrants in strict black and white terms or whatever colors you want to plug into the equation.

Policies and programs that strengthen America without hurting its existing citizens are what we need.

The DREAM Act is a bright spot in the nightmare that is being perpetuated by both sides in the battle over illegal immigration.
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