Dream Act rejected.. Three presidential candidates voted in favor of it, while two skipped the vote.

October 26th, 2007 · 10 Comments

On Wednesday, the Senate blocked the DREAM Act, falling 8 votes short of the 60 needed to end debate on the legislation that would have allowed some children of illegal immigrants to go to college or enlist in the military. It would have required the students to earn a high school diploma and pass a criminal background check before qualifying for permanent residency. I often hear anti-immigration activists argue that they favor legalized immigration or suggest that immigrants come here primarily for jobs, not to attend college, which is probably the case with most people coming from the third world. If you think about people coming from impoverished conditions in developing countries, they are probably most immediately thinking about putting food on the table before ever even imagining that their child could one day go to college in the US. So I don’t think that the notion that this law would encourage more illegal immigration is even a very strong argument. Additionally, I also find it hard to argue why an economy that thrives on skilled labor would not want to encourage these kids to advance themselves with higher education or military training. They didn’t make the conscious decision to come here illegally in the first place, and providing these youth with an opportunity to become legal, while gaining valuable skills seems like a good way to encourage productivity. Those undocumented children who advance that far have often forged a path to success with more obstacles than many native born youth. I do want to note that Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), Barack Obama (Ill.) and Joseph Biden (Del.), voted in favor of the DREAM Act, while John McCain (R-Az.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) skipped out on the vote. Given the status of immigration on the policy agenda, isn’t it kind of odd that McCain and Dodd didn’t vote on this one? Especially McCain who represents a border state.  

Actually, when I think about the DREAM Act, the strongest argument that I could make against it is the military service portion, knowing that many military personnel supported this effort in light of failed recruitment goals with the Iraq War. But then when I consider the fact that our American population is aging so rapidly and that in approximately ten years spending on the elderly will eat up almost half of the federal budget, I wonder how the US will support a top heavy system without an educated and skilled younger workforce. Investing in human capital by encouraging higher education is key.

Tags: Barack Obama · Hillary Clinton · Immigration · Iraq War · John McCain · Sen. Chris Dodd · Sen. Joseph Biden

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Michaelr // Oct 26, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    How is the United States going to develop the talent to carry it deeper into the 21st Century? Generation Y is only interested in becoming lawyers, actors, and living on MySpace. There is already a vast shortage of electrical, software, civil, mechanical, aeronautical, and chemical engineers, and registered nurses. Instead of outsourcing all these skills to H1Bs, wouldn’t it be prudent to promote and develop your own. All the racism intertwined in this debate regarding the Dream Act, truly hides the long term benefits this country needs to remain on top of the mountain.

  • 2 Frank // Oct 26, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    There is very little racism involved in the illegal immigation issue. It is about the rule of law for the majority of U.S. citizens.

  • 3 bearguez // Oct 27, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    There is no rule of law here in the United States. There is only the illusion of the rule of law. If there was the rule of law in the United States, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush would be convicted felons. Laws are enforced in the United States to keep the lower classes in fear and in mass ignorance.

  • 4 Frank // Oct 27, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    Rule of law is something that patriotic Americans embrace. The laws are there on the books it is just that our government has chosen to ignore some of them.

    Most laws are for the good of everyone and if we didn’t have them there would be total chaos.

  • 5 EYES OF TEXAS // Oct 30, 2007 at 8:14 am

    The rule of law is the only thing preventing American citizens from resolving the illegal alien problem on their own and in their own way. Those lower classes in fear would then have more to fear than our government which has ignored the demands of citizens to enforce all existing immigration laws to their fullest extent. Nothing against legal immigrants, only those that have made a mass ignorant decision to enter the U.S. illegally and refuse to leave on their own. And your attitude towards the elected leader of our country is par for the coarse and exhibits your true feelings towards the nation you live in. I do not agree with everything Dick and George do, but I do respect the positions of the V.P. and President of the United States of America, as every true American should do.

  • 6 MgF // Oct 30, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    I completely agree with the previous poster who stated that if there was the rule of law in the US, Dick Cheney and George W would be convicted felons. Its funny how not many complain when illegal immigrants clean their homes, work in the fields, or even behind the counter at your favorite fast food joint, yet they gasp at the thought of them coming to work in this country to provide for their families and lead better lives. I will never understand the harm in that.

    Oh, and Eyes of Texas~ You’ve got to be kidding….this country is far worse off now, because of the job that this administration has done. Of course there should be respect for the position of the President and VP, but I dont respect either of them and am counting the days til they are out of office.

  • 7 Frank // Oct 31, 2007 at 5:06 am

    MgF, you are mixing apples with oranges here. Our government doesn’t represent us anymore. Real Americans want the rule of law to prevail inspite of the fact that our government shows no respect for our laws anymore. Don’t lump us in the same catagory as them. That is why we have been faxing and e-mailing them about all the BS legislation that they are trying to pass.

    It is the corrupt businesses who are hiring these illegals to do all the jobs that you mentioned to line their own pockets with profit. It isn’t for the most part your everyday law abiding citizen. If they want to come here to work there is a legal way to do it. No excuses! There is harm in them coming to provide for their families while we the taxpayer foot the bill for their health, education and welfare. Not to mention the added popuation growth that is crowding our schools, jails and hospitals and the depletion of our natural resources. Why don’t they stay in their own countries and fix them? We built a successful nation, why can’t they?

    I have no respect for this administration either but that doesn’t justify the breaking of our immigration laws. I hope the next president we get works for Americans and not foreign interests and has the sense to secure our own borders. Legal immigration in controlled numbers is fine but rampant illegal immigration in uncontrolled numbers is not.

  • 8 STEW // Dec 16, 2007 at 7:34 pm

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  • 9 msqb // Aug 9, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Interesting to see how many people are actually ignorant to the fact that many illegals actually do pay taxes (ITN) or the years and years of failed attempts to establish legal residency – from corrupt lawyers (who by the way had a chance at a college education) to high court fees(think about those low salaries) and piles of denied petitions and immigration document. Scholarships go unclaimed because students are unable to prove legal residency and are made to pay more than double in tuition. Of course, then to pay for school… forced to get 2 or 3 jobs .

  • 10 Johnny Dilznik // Dec 29, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    All of this advocating for illegal immigrants is based in ethnicity. If they came from the Netherlands then there would be no outrage from latinos as to why we would like to enforce our immigration law. It is the biggest lie ever.

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