Today the only subject I can think about to blog is the DREAM Act. The reason it is even heavier on my mind is because today 12 of my High School Mock Trial students are graduating. Their school has 94% Hispanic students enrolled. 300 of them graduated an hour ago. Many other Phoenix area high schools also have a majority of Hispanic students. Some of those thousands of local high school students are US citizens and some likely are not.
I understand the concern about illegal immigration issues like identity theft, drugs, etc. I understand needing to do something to secure our borders. However the public needs to realize that this is not the face of all illegal immigrants. As a matter of fact, it is not the face of most illegal immigrants. Most people want to enter this country to make a better life for themselves. I believe that comprehensive immigration reform needs to happen in this country to address all of those issues.
There are a few different categories of immigration reform that need to be addressed though. First there are the future people coming in to the country and the people who are already here. Then that can be further divided in to the people who are here trying to work, raise a family, and make a better life for themselves and people that are here committing crimes. Even further, that category of people who are already here and are working to raise their family and make a better life for themselves can be divided in to the parents who came here and their children who have lived here as long as they can remember and had no say in whether they came to this country or not. Those children who have lived here since they were very small and have gone through school just like any American child, but now have a severely limited future in this country because they are forbidden from using their education and talent to get a job due to their immigration status. I am addressing that narrow issue of only those kids in this blog.
Something needs to happen for those kids and it needs to happen sooner rather than later. If a child has been here since they were in diapers, had no say in whether they came to this country originally or not, and has excelled in school there needs to be some sort of mechanism for them to become a US citizen. End of subject in my book. The DREAM Act is that way. And the DREAM Act only addresses that narrow issue, the person had to have been in the country since a young age and have graduated high school. It will do nothing one way or the other for all the other categories.
This one issue of immigration reform can be separated from the others in my opinion and addressed much swifter than the rest. I'm talking about kids that you or I would not be able to distinguish from any other American teenager unless they told you. Kids that have 4.0 GPA's in High School. That are on the honor roll. That have extra curricular activities like Chess Club, Future Business Leaders of America, and Boys & Girls Club. That have the intelligence and talent to change this world for the better if we just give them a chance. These kids are the type of people we want as American citizens. Something needs to be done to address them and it needs to happen now.
Pass the DREAM Act!! Both for the kid's sake so they can have hope and make something out of their lives and for our country's sake so that we don't pass by the opportunity to have these extraordinary people become US citizens and better our country.
Oh, and CONGRATULATIONS to all my Mock Trial kids who graduated today!!! I am very proud of all of you!