I Have a DREAM

Delta Winds cover 2011Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College


I Have a DREAM

Dominic Deiro

Imagine being in high school all four years, making friends, joining clubs, playing sports, and bettering your education. What if that were ripped away from you in one second because you were an illegal alien about to be deported? I, along with many other Americans, believe this type of treatment to be inhumane. In order to combat the issue of deporting young illegal aliens, Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Richard Lugar drew up the DREAM Act, which would allow illegal alien students who graduated from high school, who have good moral character, who arrived in the U.S. as minors, and who have been in the country for at least five years the opportunity to earn permanent residency if they complete two years in the military or two years in college. Even though proponents of the act drew many supporters in 2007, with 52 senators voting in favor of it, they still could not break the filibuster, and thus the DREAM Act was not considered. However, in December of 2010, the act may come up for vote again. If it were proposed in Congress today, I would vote for the DREAM act because it would increase the number of active duty soldiers, it would raise the amount of money in circulation, and it would allow young individuals the opportunity to get an education and to further benefit the community.

After considering the pros and cons of the DREAM Act, I have decided that I should support this bill because it would increase the number of active duty soldiers in our various military branches. The DREAM Act states that illegal aliens who want to gain citizenship must either attend college or join the military for two years. I believe many immigrants would sign up for the military since some of them are not good in school. They would rather take their chances in the military. Despite our active participation in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our American military units are in need of people to serve. Essentially, if this act were to be passed, then our number of service personnel would increase, and our armed forces would be stronger and more unstoppable. My brother is in the National Guard, and when I asked him how he felt about having outsiders enlist in the army, he smiled and said the following: "All of us in the army feel like a big family, and we gladly accept anyone who is willing to join. If some people who want to be Americans want to join the army, we would all accept them without doubts or hesitations." If the people who are risking their lives for this country are willing to accept immigrants into their family, I think we should too. I believe that we should support the DREAM Act due to its potential to increase the number of active duty soldiers.

Besides increasing the number of participants in the armed forces, the DREAM Act would improve the economy. If the illegal immigrants were granted U.S. citizenships, they would also become law-abiding taxpayers. Currently, in many of our cities and states, we have illegal immigrants working under poor conditions: they are paid low wages "under the table." This money is not taxed. Even though the workers eventually do spend their money to buy products, there could potentially be more money in our economy from taxes on their wages. At my first job, I was paid under the table, and I was not taxed at all. Nowadays, however, with my current job, I am taxed every time I receive a paycheck, and I am often astonished at how much is taken out. America is in a depression, and there is no sign of us getting out. If the DREAM act were passed, wages would increase for those individuals who qualify. Essentially, not only would the DREAM Act open up more opportunities for individuals in continuing their education and finding jobs, but it could potentially provide the chance for us to boost the economy.

Lastly, the DREAM Act should be passed because it would allow young individuals the opportunity to get an education and to further benefit the community. The act states that in order to become an American citizen, the individual must either join the military or enroll in a college. With those extra years of schooling, these individuals would increase their knowledge and would be in a position to benefit society. Throughout the history of America, there have been many immigrants who have made a strong and long-lasting impact. Albert Einstein, who emigrated from Germany, was critical in World War II when he advised President Roosevelt of a bomb the Nazis were developing. John Muir, who emigrated from Scotland, helped to create Yosemite National Park to benefit our environment. More personally, my mother, who worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital, learned about an immigrant doctor from Iraq. She told me that he was one of the most skilled doctors at the hospital: "He was very attentive, always focused in surgery. I've seen him save more lives than any other doctor I have worked with." In all of these examples, the immigrants who had an opportunity to become American citizens were able to benefit society--giving back to the nation that allowed them to work toward their goals. Under the DREAM Act, young immigrants would have the same chance.

I believe that America, its citizens, and those around the world would benefit from the DREAM Act. By increasing the number of active duty soldiers, improving the economy, and allowing young individuals the opportunity to get an education, the DREAM Act builds on our forefathers' idea of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Increasing the number of individuals in our military not only strengthens our stance as an international power, but also builds on a sense of family and camaraderie. Taxes on paychecks would increase the amount of money in circulation and would aid the U.S. in its quest to get out of debt. Finally, more individuals would be granted the opportunity to get an education, which would allow them to further benefit the community. Overall, these three reasons promote strength and support for the DREAM Act. I believe that it should be passed so that everyone can be a part of the American Dream.