Thursday, July 8, 2010

Education and The Dream Act

National higher education leaders have recently announced the formation of a coalition on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act or (DREAM ACT) Over two dozen educational organization are pushing for congress to vote on the Act before the August recess. The Dream Act would help to legalize undocumented students who were in the United States before the age of 16, have lived here for five consecutive years, are of good moral character and are committed to attending an institution of higher learning or serve in the military for at least two years. The Dream Act has had bipartisan support since it was first introduced in 2001. However, there have never been enough votes to enact the legislation. That may be changing as congress is being pressured by both sides to fix an immigration system that had been broken for years. It is estimated that the passage of this Act could affect over 1 to 2.5 million undocumented immigrants. The issue of legalizing undocumented students can be viewed separate and apart from any “amnesty” or “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” because it deals with children that were not responsible for making the decision to come to this country.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Obama's Plan for Immigration Reform

The latest news on reforming the immigration laws is that President Obama is considering a plan to “parole or offer “deferred action” to the millions of people in the United States that are undocumented. Deferred action and parole are often used for emergency or humanitarian reasons. They are discretionary actions within the control of the executive branch. With the granting of deferred action, individuals are often permitted to apply for employment authorization. Eight Republican Senators have issued a statement to the president advising him that a deferred action or parole program would not be a good idea for the United States. As usual, the Senators agree that the immigration system needs to be fixed. They state that the borders need to be secured and the current laws need to be enforced. However, the Senators offer no realistic solutions of their own to deal with this complex problem.