Walk a Mile in the Shoes

Let me start off by saying I’m not a politician, nor do I like to debate political topics. But, this topic is something that is very important to not only the people that benefit from it, but also to the United States of America as a whole.

Here are two great examples of what I’m going to talk about:

1) After being stopped in March for impeding the flow of traffic on her college campus in suburban Atlanta, Jessica Colotl, a student enrolled at Kennesaw State University, failed to produce a driver’s license. She soon found herself arrested and transferred to an immigration detention center. A native of Mexico, Colotl came to the United States with her parents at age 10 and graduated from a Georgia high school.

2) Harvard sophomore Eric Balderas, 19, does not remember Mexico, but he may be deported there anyway. Balderas was only 4 years old when he became an illegal immigrant. But his youth proved no defense when immigration officials arrested the biology major at the San Antonio airport after he tried to board a plane back to Boston. Balderas was on his way back to Harvard last week after a visit to his mother in San Antonio, where he grew up. But sometime during the visit, Balderas lost his Mexican passport and had hoped to board the plane with a consulate card and his student ID.

Every year, over 65,000 undocumented students graduate from a United States High School. Almost every single one of those undocumented students are then rejected a college education because they can’t receive student loans, college grants, or any type of financial aid due to their immigrant status.

Some of these students do the impossible and go a college or university, work as hard as they can because they know that every little penny they receive will go to pay their out-of-state tuition prices that they are charged.

Is it really fair that these bright students be rejected an opportunity to higher education that many other Americans are given? Is it fair that these young people are held accountable to their parents’ crimes and misdeeds?

For many of these students like Jessica and Eric, they have lived in the United States from an early age. The United States of America is the only home they have ever known. For them, they are Americans like you and I. They have loved this country; they celebrate the freedom it gives, and most of them love this country so much they are willing to go to war to defend it.

And that’s when they hit a roadblock yet again. Thanks to their illegal status, they are not allowed to serve in the United States military; they are not allowed to serve the country they love! As Senator Dick Durbin said, “undocumented young people in the United States that want to volunteer to serve in our military can’t do it. They are willing to risk their lives for America and we say NO”

If only there was a piece of legislation that could benefit all who are concerned…? Alas, the DREAM Act! The DREAM Act stands for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act. What is the DREAM Act you ask? The Dream Act is a piece of legislation that would give illegal alien- scratch that, I’m not going to use that word Alien they aren’t aliens, they are people! The Dream Act is a piece of legislation that would give illegal immigrants a shot at US citizenship.

As Senator Durbin said, “What I tried to do with the DREAM Act is to give these young people a chance. A chance to earn their way to legal status and become part of the only country they have ever known.” Make no mistake, the DREAM Act isn’t a freebie, “you have to earn your citizenship all the way through” says Senator Durbin.

There are four basic requirements for the DREAM Act:

1) You must have entered the United States before the age of 16

2) You must have graduated High School.

3) You must be in good moral character (no criminal record in any way)

4) You must have at least five years of continuous presence in the United States.

Once the person has met those criteria, they will have a six year period in which they must obtain a two-year college degree or complete two years of military service.

The DREAM Act isn’t a freebie piece of legislation that the democrats want to pass in order to get their Democratic agenda in place, no, the DREAM Act is completely up to the person. The person must apply for it, the person must meet all four basic requirements, the person must earn their two-year college degree, or serve in the United States military and upon completion, they will have four more years in which they can continue to go further with their education and once they meet the six year requirement, they can apply for permanent citizenship in the United States, the greatest honor one can receive.

For the illegal immigrants dreaming of getting this piece of legislation passed, they become just that, “dreamers”.

The stories of Jessica and Eric are only two of thousands upon thousands of stories just like it. There is a website that its sole purpose is to get these stories published, they have so many inspiring stories of students who are going through these dark times in their lives.

In summary, passing the DREAM Act would stop the punishment of young people who came to the United States of America illegally through no fault of their own. Many came here when they were still very young and have known no other place to call home. The DREAM Act will have a positive effect not only on the young people that would benefit from it but also to the United States of America as a whole.


2 thoughts on “Walk a Mile in the Shoes

  1. Excellent job Pedro! You did a very good job on your research. Thank you for sharing these truly inspirational and remarkable stories! I have always been a major supporter and proponent of the Dream Act. I think it is very important that we get elected officials in Congress who actually support the Dream Act and who support a clear path to citizenship. This should be a bipartisan issue. Democrats and Republicans who believe in the importance of the American dream should all fight for the Dream Act! The bottom-line is, We need to be very careful with who we vote for. We need to vote for politicians who have our best interests at heart. There are many opponents and non supporters of this bill. The fact is, we should be rewarding these college students, not punishing them! As a country, how could we deport young undocumented individuals who will only make our country better and more prosperous? It doesn’t make any sense!

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