The DREAM Act: Determining the lives of an estimated 700,000 undocumented immigrants.

Students in Arizona supporting the DREAM Act. (SOURCE:
Students in Arizona supporting the DREAM Act. (SOURCE:

The lives of an estimated 700,000 undocumented young adults, ages sixteen and under, depend on a very controversial bill that has come to be known as the DREAM Act.

The DREAM Act has yet not been passed, but its main purpose is to provide undocumented young adults the opportunity to receive a higher education with the intention of benefiting the American economy.

Undocumented immigrants are individuals who lack legal authorization into the United States. Unlike legal/documented immigrants, illegal/undocumented immigrants do not possess a Visa or Green Card.

DREAM Act supporters insist that with the population of immigrants growing every year, it is beneficial for the American economy to allow undocumented immigrant students to receive a higher education.

If granted a higher education, undocumented immigrants would benefit their state’s economy by paying in-state tuition fees, in addition to benefiting the country’s economy by having more people working at higher paying jobs.

According to Washington State’s DREAM Act Coalition, “In-state tuition is smart investment, as students who attend college will move into better paying jobs, paying more taxes and spending more money in their home state.”

Those opposing the DREAM Act would argue that the bill gives amnesty to those breaking immigration laws.

According to Marshall Fitz, Director of Immigration Policy at American Progress “This isn’t amnesty. Eligible youth who had no say in the decision to come to the United States would have to work hard to earn permanent residence, and the earliest they could get citizenship would be 13 years.”

There are also those who oppose the DREAM Act because they believe it may be an act of hypocrisy made by state laws that refuse to financially help legal immigrants trying to get a higher education.

According to The Heritage Foundation, “Among several other concerns, the DREAM Act rewards those who violated immigration laws granting them in-state tuition while state laws deny legal aliens on student visas tuition benefits…”

Dream Act supporters, however, would say that earning eligibility of the DREAM Act is not an easy task, and that not everyone is eligible for the Dream Act.

Individuals who are interested in applying for the DREAM Act can only apply if they moved to the United States at the age of sixteen or younger. In addition, every applicant cannot have any felonies or excessive misdemeanors both in the United States and in their countries of origin.

In order to determine if a person is eligible for the DREAM Act, every undocumented immigrant needs to undergo a thorough background check conducted by the Department of Homeland Security.

Ten years have passed since the DREAM Act was first introduced by Senator Richard Durbin in 2001, yet very few people know what the DREAM Act is. For more information on the DREAM Act visit

About Ana Palma-Gutierrez 29 Articles
My name is Ana Palma-Gutierrez, and I am from Mexico City. I first moved to the U.S. when I was seven years old, and the transition into my new life was a very challenging experience for me. I had to learn English in order for me to survive in my new home, and in addition, I had to leave all my friends and family behind in order for me to find a better life. Almost thirteen years have passed by since I first moved to the U.S. and I am very proud of being a Staff Writer and Copy Editor for The Jibsheet. Currently, I am the only Mexican/Hispanic Staff Writer and Copy Editor on staff, and I am very proud of myself for this accomplishment. I want to thank my Editor in Chief (Riley Hartwell,) as well as the rest of my editors for giving me the opportunity of writing and editing for The Jibsheet. I look forward to completing my Arts and Science Degree here at Bellevue College, and transferring onto a four-year college, where I hope to Major in Political Science and Minor in Journalism.

1 Comment on The DREAM Act: Determining the lives of an estimated 700,000 undocumented immigrants.

  1. “…In addition, every applicant cannot have any felonies or excessive misdemeanors both in the United States and in their countries of origin.”

    What I think is interesting about the inclusion of the statement in the Bill that the applicant cannot have “felonies, or excessive misdemeanors” has an implication attributed it. Let’s face the facts. The Republicans, Conservatives, whatever you like to call them, or they prefer to call themselves, have been asserting that most of the individuals who cross the border illegally are felons, or come to the states and commit felony acts.

    These children are not committing any crime when crossing the border with their parents. The parents are committing a crime. It is a criminal act to cross the border from Mexico to the United States without going through the process established for immigration.

    What I am stating here is that the children should not be held accountable legally, nor denied education, healthcare, or any other opportunity while they are residing in the U.S. As far as I am concerned a child who is in the U.S. illegally, should be treated the same as any other child born in America, but not be given (short of the process of Naturalization) citizenship.

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