Does the DREAM Act bring benefits to America?

Kaori Isobe

On August 1, 2001, the U.S. Senate introduced American legislative proposal which is called the DREAM Act, stands for “Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors”. It gives opportunities to get the permanent residency in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants who suit requirements. There is a serious background to come up this bill.

In the United States, there are 11.5 million of undocumented, illegal immigrations in 2011. And about 20% of undocumented immigrants are under 18 years old. They were born in the U.S. or they came to the U.S. from other countries. However, their parents illegally came to the U.S., therefore they are also illegal residence in the U.S. It means that they don’t have the U.S. citizenship and nationalities, even they look like totally American, such as they live their most entire lives in the U.S. and they speak English, have American way of thinking and so on. However, due to migration law, they cannot go to colleges, and have a lot of difficulties to find jobs. Also, they cannot get identifications such as ID card. To come to the U.S. is not their choices. They are forced unstable lives without choice.

This bill is not approved because the Republican Party rejected. However, as of November 2012, 11 states have their own DREAM Act, for example in New Mexico, California, New York and other states, undocumented immigration who meet requirements, are eligible to pay in-state tuition for colleges and universities at New Mexico. It seems to have been improved. But in fact, it is said difficult to pass this law because of political situation of recent days. So, let suppose that this bill would be passed, this DREAM Act would be able to bring benefits for America?

In my opinion, as long as I have studied, I would say YES. There are two reasons.

One of them is that if the DREAM Act would give opportunities to get the permanent residency for undocumented immigration, a huge economy impact would be occurred in the U.S. in a good way. According to a video from “”, an average of 30-years old Mexican immigrant woman who graduated from college pay more than $5,300 in taxes, then at the same time, it costs the government less $3,900 in taxes. Then, total annual fiscal contribution would be $9200 per person.  It means that the DREAM Act would be able to bring a good fiscal influence. Furthermore, if immigrants would be able to get legal residency and get legal jobs, economy in the U.S. would be better because they would be able to buy stuff they want. So, influence on economy is one of benefits.

The other one is that undocumented immigrations’ talents would become a huge impact on education and research field. Because of migration act, many undocumented immigrations who have great record have to give up to go going to college or higher institution. However, if the DREAM Act would be passed, undocumented migrants would be able to go to college, then they would be learn and some of them would be specialists as American do. Do not desert their abilities. Also, I think every child has right to get education. The society have responsibilities to get children have education not only at high school, but also at college and universities if they want to go. So, this is another benefit that I’ve considered.

However, there are some criticisms. For example, this act would give unfairness to legal immigration parents and children because they have to pay full tuition, but on the other hand, undocumented immigrations can get scholarship to go to college.  The other is that this act would encourage and reward illegal immigration. Also, if injured accidentally during the 2-year military service which is one of the requirements, the DREAM Act applicant cannot get permanent residency.

As a conclusion, whether the DREAM Act would be passed or not, I think there are some aspects that the society relies on immigration, which means that immigration do what American usually do not, such as 3D jobs, house keeper, and so on. Immigration is one of important thing for the society. Therefore immigrant problem should be considered seriously, and deeply in many ways. I hope everything will be better for undocumented people who are forced to have unstable lives without their own choices.


Dream act info

Undocumented shadows – A dream act infographic