A recent posting on the ImmigrationProf Blog highlights the debate about the military service provisions that are in the DREAM Act.
A father, whose son was a soldier died in Iraq, made this impassioned caution to those seeking passage of the DREAM Act, due to the military service option as a path to legalization:
It give me great joy to see students taking non-violent action to find a solution to the immigration question. Many of them came to the United States as children and have finished their high school education. Now, because they lack legal documents, they face an uncertain future that may deny them the opportunity to attend college or find a decent job. The DREAM Act offers them a light at the end of an otherwise dark and uncertain road.
I see students on fasts, in marches, lobbying elected officials, all in the name of the DREAM Act’s passage. But BEWARE. Be very careful. Because our honorable youth with their dreams and wishes to serve their new country are being tricked and manipulated in an immoral and criminal way.
Why do I say this? Simply put, the DREAM Act proposes two years of college as a pathway to permanent residency but it also includes a second option linked to the so-called war on terror-“two years of military service.” Our young people may not see that this is a covert draft in which thousands of youth from Latino families will be sent to Iraq or some other war torn nation where they will have to surrender their moral values and become a war criminal or perhaps return home in black bags on their way to a tomb drenched with their parents’ tears.
However, an anonomous, undocumented youth, who stands to benifit from the proposed DREAM Act, responded:
As a potential beneficiary of the DREAM Act, I as well as most other undocumented students such as myself disagree with the opinion of this letter. Yes, the DREAM Act does offer us a light at the end a dark and uncertain road. But please do not presume to know or define what that light is for us. We are not ignorant of the fact that yes we are potential targets for military recruiters.
Yes, undocumented students who are beneficiaries of the DREAM Act might just be hopeless and shortsighted and willing to do anything to find a way out of our immigration situation. . . . What we see as an opportunity, immigration rights organizations might see as a fault, a problem, an unthinkable. Well, please take a second and see things through our prespective, isn’t it our rights and our needs that these immigration organizations exist for?
Instead of opposing the DREAM Act, I speak for thousands of DREAM Act beneficiaries that please support this legislation with the military provision included. It might not be the perfect legislation to immigration rights organizations but let us make the decision to accept or reject the choices before us, we just want a choice. . . .
These are difficult choices, but as I previously wrote, I feel in the end it is the students and youth affected that should be listened to. What do you think?