Living the Dream MAG

May 7, 2009
By Mayra Diaz BRONZE, Barrington, Illinois
Mayra Diaz BRONZE, Barrington, Illinois
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment

While the majority of students are worrying about getting into their dream schools and being able to afford them, others worry about a bigger issue. Students brought to this country illegally, who must leave a blank space on applications that ask for their Social Security number, know they will not be accepted regardless of their outstanding grades and extracurricular involvement. However, there may be some hope in the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act).

Of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants residing in the United States (70 percent from Mexico), 2.7 million are children. These young people benefit from the U.S. school system, but only up through high school. Their education often stops there due to a 1996 federal law that prohibits states from offering
in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants unless the state also offers in-state tuition rates to all U.S. citizens.

The DREAM Act is a massive amnesty program for the millions of illegal immigrants (age 12 to 35) who entered the United States before they are 16. Those who apply for this amnesty can receive conditional, temporary resident status, which can be converted, once earned, to a nonconditional green card (permanent U.S. residency) after six years. These immigrants can then use their newly acquired status to seek green cards for their parents. In this way, it can also provide amnesty for the millions of illegal aliens who brought their children to the United States.

“I don't necessarily live in fear of being deported,” says Juan, a high school junior who was born in Mexico. “For the most part, I live a normal life. Except, now everyone is getting their driver's license, and I can't.”

Juan came to the U.S. with his mother and older brother in 2000 when he was eight. He is just one of millions of students in the nation hoping for the DREAM Act to be passed. While he does not claim to have experienced any overt prejudice in high school, Juan still faces racial stereotypes.

“It bothers me when people joke around and ask me for my green card,” Juan explains. “I laugh, but deep down I know they are offending me for something I have no control over. I was born in Mexico, but my life is here.”

His older brother, who graduated a few years ago, now attends a community college and plans to transfer to a university. Juan hopes to take a similar path. “I have no doubt that I can go to college,” Juan says. “I know it's going to be hard, but as long as I stay in this country, I have a chance.”

The DREAM Act was reintroduced in both chambers of Congress last March by Senators Dick Durbin and Richard Lugar.

“I can only hope that the DREAM Act will pass,” Juan says. “All I want is a good life and a promising future, just like everyone else.”



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This article has 64 comments.


McCloskey said...
on Oct. 5 2011 at 1:22 pm
This is a great article. Students who have worked all their life for a good education should be able to get help for college.

cehmer said...
on Oct. 5 2011 at 1:22 pm
I beleive the DREAM Act would be a good thing.

jdavis said...
on Oct. 5 2011 at 8:56 am
I beleive there should be a system for illegal immigrants to become citizens of the U.S. Although their activity was illegal at the time, most did not have a choice in the decision at their age.   They did what any child would do. . . listen ot their parents!  I beleive the DREAM Act if passes would be a good piece of legislature in order for them to become citizens.

on Sep. 25 2011 at 10:53 am
lzcelloplayer BRONZE, Wayland, Massachusetts
2 articles 0 photos 31 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It seems that we all look at Nature too much, and live with her too little." ~ Oscar Wilde

This is a good article, and I very much agree with the DREAM Act. I think that everybody should have a chance at their dreams, no matter where they come from. 

Once again, great article! :D


Emmy88 BRONZE said...
on Aug. 1 2011 at 8:02 pm
Emmy88 BRONZE, New Rochelle, New York
1 article 0 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."-Wayne Gretzky

can you explain to me why the alien can't just go though the citizenship process? Or at least learn better english? Or learn English at ALL? And with the economic situation in America right now, anyone will take any job they need. So, when the alien serves you your dinner at the diner, and your dad is out of a job, good luck!

Bambi67 SILVER said...
on Aug. 1 2011 at 1:12 pm
Bambi67 SILVER, Chicago, Illinois
9 articles 1 photo 58 comments

Favorite Quote:
remember that the future comes one day at a time.
Dean Acheson

yea what kind of jobs? where will they work without a social ? if you got to dominican republic should they treat you like your a shadow just becuase you don't speak the language? or should treat you with racism just because your white? or should they treat like any human being in this planet? idk you tell me

Bambi67 SILVER said...
on Aug. 1 2011 at 1:02 pm
Bambi67 SILVER, Chicago, Illinois
9 articles 1 photo 58 comments

Favorite Quote:
remember that the future comes one day at a time.
Dean Acheson

I love this article and it is very sad to read some intolerant people discriminated this people for some papers and I don’t believe the immigrants take any jobs from Americans’ and if the Americans’ let the illegal take jobs from them it is because they don’t to be cleaning bathrooms, don’t judge unless you really know what is going on this  people head, unless you know what this people have going through to come to America and think all their problems will be solve till they figure out they are just living on the shadow. Children have not power over this, think a little and realize what would you feel if your left on your country without you mom and dad? The people who are supposed to raised you and be there for you. Would you say not to the only chance of been with them?  I don’t think so….so like any human being they should be left alone and be able to have a brief future like you and me because Americans aren’t better than anyone.” Not body is better than anyone and a green card will not show the different.

on Jul. 18 2011 at 11:58 pm
insearchofsoni BRONZE, St.John&#39s, Florida
3 articles 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
"For you, a thousand times over."

People should keep in mind, WHY people come to America. People come to America for oppurtunity. America is known as "The Land of Oppurtunity".  It's exteremely hard to get into America if you come from a third world country, as most immigrants do. Did you know, the education, however more advanced in such a country is considered worthless in America because the education is that of a third world country? It's so hard to get into America even with a degree, and then apply for citizenship, imagine how hard it must be for the lesser educated, who come here to give their children better lives than that of the ones they could have recieved where they originated from? You have to put these things in perspective, I mean isn't everyone in America a descendent of some other forgien nation, other than the Native Americans? The families that have been here for generations worked hard for their children to have such rights as they do now. Yet all the illegal immigrants who have no other legal option to come in America work pretty hard, too. I mean, how often do you see some poor, hard working foreigner taking out the trash in some fast food place? It's the foreigners who do the dirty work and truly keep America going. I'm not saying at all that it's right to come in illegally to any country whatsoever, but I think that more work should be done to help those who come illegal and do all of America's hard manual labor and dirty work. I believe that RiverSong's philosophy's pretty good. If the government got involved to help create citizens of hard workers, America could be a more harmonious place. They could do all kinds of things, like granting citiztenship to the talented and gifted and their families. It's a win-win.

on Jul. 7 2011 at 8:13 am
The sins of the father shall go the child. While I do not agree with this, its fact. Just because I dont agree or like something dosnt mean that I should stray from the way it needs to be done. If you break the law, even if your parents break the law by sneaking into this country, you are here illegally. I do not agree with this but I understand it. Because we cannot allow anything illegal to happen. You cant pick and choose because of age.

on Jun. 24 2011 at 7:14 am
RiverSong BRONZE, Baltimore, Maryland
3 articles 0 photos 100 comments

You make a good point.  But you say they should not receive any government help?  I disagree with that.  If illegal immigrants received enough government help to ensure that their lives were settled for a while, they could concentrate on getting citizenship and becoming legal members of the US, which would allow their children to go to college and benefit society in general.

I do believe that legal immigration is, of course, the best and hopefully, one day, only option, but for some families there is no other choice but to go illegally.  Neither you, nor I, nor anyone should judge them without having lived in their shoes for a while.


on Jun. 23 2011 at 11:54 pm
smalltownshorty BRONZE, Amana, Iowa
2 articles 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
There is something I don't know
That I am supposed to know.
I don't know what it is I don't know,
And yet am supposed to know,
And I feel I look stupid
If I seem both not to know
And not to know what it is I don't know.

Therefore, I pretend I know it.
This is nerve-wracking
Since I don't know what I must pretend
To know.

Therefore, I pretend to know everything.

I feel you know what I am supposed to know
But you can't tell me what it is
Because you don't know what I don't know
What it is.

You may know what I don't know, but not
That I don't know it.
And I can't tell you. So you will have
To tell me everything.

- R. D. Lang in Knots

I am not saying it is anyones fault but I am a strong believer in going things the legal way. I think everyone should be able to live and go to school where ever they want. I myself plan on leaving America for london for my own personal school. But at the same time, as it is you have to pay differnt prices for schooling depending on where you were born and raised. It will cost me about 15,000 dollars more than it would a citizen of england to go to the college I want to but I'm fine that. Because they paid taxes that were put into the colleges and I did not. Again I think anyone should be able to live where they want and go to school where they want and yes I think our immigration system is really messed up but that how it currently is. I'm fine with making it easier to get a green card but illegal is illegal regardless of if your 5 or 64. Until they gone through the process the government set up they should not get help from the government and they should not get disounts if they aren't paying taxes. 

VarsityRider said...
on Jun. 22 2011 at 2:27 pm
VarsityRider, Milledgeville, Georgia
0 articles 2 photos 81 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice." - W. Shakespeare.
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do." - Confucius

That was an awesome peice, very well written. You bring up good points and things from a different perspective. "If they are illegal they are illegal." BS. Everybody deserves a chance to be successful, despite where they come from.

Emmy88 BRONZE said...
on Jun. 22 2011 at 2:24 pm
Emmy88 BRONZE, New Rochelle, New York
1 article 0 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."-Wayne Gretzky

I don't agree with the bible part, but the DREAM act is just another way for Aliens to get benefits that Americans work at too. 

 


Emmy88 BRONZE said...
on Jun. 22 2011 at 2:21 pm
Emmy88 BRONZE, New Rochelle, New York
1 article 0 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."-Wayne Gretzky

They're illegal and shouldn't have rights. It's the children's fault. They'll grow up and take jobs away from legals!

on Jun. 22 2011 at 1:06 pm
Whatever happened to separating state and church?

on Jun. 22 2011 at 11:00 am
RiverSong BRONZE, Baltimore, Maryland
3 articles 0 photos 100 comments
"If they are illegal they are illegal", you say--but what about the children (which is what this article is all about)?  How is it their fault?

on Jun. 22 2011 at 10:57 am
RiverSong BRONZE, Baltimore, Maryland
3 articles 0 photos 100 comments
poetry_addict, while I respect your situation and agree that something is very wrong there, I don't understand what that has to do with the article.  Also, you say that illegal immigrants should not have a place in our school system because they entered the country by breaking the law.  What about the children?  Does a five-year-old have any choice or say in what his or her parents do?  And would you really deny this five-year-old an equal education and an equal chance to have a good life because of something he/she had no control over?

ljlj said...
on May. 19 2011 at 5:45 pm
then get into a diffrent college if your having problems getting into a college with those grades you must of been procrastinating. Turn in your admissions packet early so you can have a good chance of getting in and not have to worry about racial quotas.

on Apr. 8 2011 at 2:16 pm
smalltownshorty BRONZE, Amana, Iowa
2 articles 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
There is something I don't know
That I am supposed to know.
I don't know what it is I don't know,
And yet am supposed to know,
And I feel I look stupid
If I seem both not to know
And not to know what it is I don't know.

Therefore, I pretend I know it.
This is nerve-wracking
Since I don't know what I must pretend
To know.

Therefore, I pretend to know everything.

I feel you know what I am supposed to know
But you can't tell me what it is
Because you don't know what I don't know
What it is.

You may know what I don't know, but not
That I don't know it.
And I can't tell you. So you will have
To tell me everything.

- R. D. Lang in Knots

It wouldn't make a dent, and even if it was enough money to make a dent in the amount, it is unlikely any of it would be paid back to China.

on Apr. 7 2011 at 11:24 pm
Also realize if someone gains legal status they will pay taxes after getting a paycheck. If average pay is about 20,000 a year than one person pays about 1600 dollars in taxes every year. That is about 17 billion dollars extra the contry makes of taxes if all 11 million people work. Plus doesn't America owe 17 trillion dollars to China? Maybe these extra money on  taxes can help. LOL


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