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We all know that immigration is a big deal in this country, and everybody in this room has a different opinion about it which I respect because this is a free country, but, if this is a free country, why do people discriminate against others? That is what I have always asked myself, and now I ask you the same question. Why do people discriminate against others because of their legal status? They are still people aren‘t they? I think taxes, health care and unemployment issues fit in the same category as immigration. We all know that the issue of immigration is controversial, but, I would like to focus first on The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act also known as the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act is a proposal that would allow students that are not legally in the United States to obtain permanent residency status under 6 requirements this year, because the DREAM Act was reintroduced again in 2010. The 6 requirements are.
Has graduated from an American high school or obtained a GED
Has been a “good person” has not got into trouble with the law
Submits real information about themselves
Undergoes security and law- enforcement background checks
Undergoes a medical examination and
Registers for the Selective Service
Some of you may ask, what is the purpose of the DREAM Act? The purpose is to help those individuals who meet the requirements, to have an opportunity to enlist in the military or go to college and have a path to citizenship which they otherwise would not have without this legislation.
People, who support the DREAM Act like me, believe it is essential not only to the people who would benefit from it but also to the U.S. It would give an opportunity to undocumented immigrant students that have been living in the United States since they were young. It will give them a chance to be part of this nation and to contribute back to the country that has given them so much. They will have a chance to show this country their hard earned education and talents. A great example is David Cho 21; he is an illegal immigrant student at the UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles). David is the student body president, drum major, student senator, class president, team captain and club officer at community college; he also conducts the 250 member UCLA marching band in front of 75,000 people at the Rose Bowl. David came to the U.S. from South Korea at the age 9; he did not know that he was in the U.S. illegally until he got accepted to UCLA. His father showed him a letter saying the family’s visa was not valid. For David this is home, and he does not want to go anywhere because he has always been here. With no papers, David and all immigrant students can attend school but not work, drive or receive financial aid; this brings me back to taxes and health care, think about it those students that do get accepted to get the residency, will have to pay taxes and if they apply for a student loan, they have to pay back, which will bring the economy back up because they will also apply for health care and they will have the same obligations as any other Americans.
Immigrant students were the ones to present this bill because they are the ones that want a better future for themselves and for their family. When the DREAM Act first started, students and other people who were supporting the Act were afraid to speak up because they thought they were going to get deported back to their country, but they all speak out because they want this “DREAM” to be real, and they are fighting for what they believe. To make something clear, when I say immigrant students or just immigrants, I mean from all countries not only Hispanics.
In the House of Representatives the Republican Lamar Smith said the DREAM Act was a “nightmare”. And I ask all of you, after everything I have said, do this sounds like a nightmare? To me it does not. The DREAM Act is the dream of every single immigrant student in the United States. The DREAM Act will enable immigrant students to become citizens and to have a better future that will stabilize the economy. And my purpose for this speech? For students to understand how important this is for those 65,000 illegal immigrant students that do not have the opportunity like all of you have, and to get people to support the DREAM Act.