Letters to the editor: I'm in favor of the DREAM Act

I have been working helping immigrant families since the late 70’s and I am in favor of the Dream Act as well as comprehensive immigration reform. I am looking forward to filling out applications for immigrants as I did during President Reagan’s reform bill in 1985. Having said that, let us look at some benefits of The Dream Act that have not seen the light of day.

The ripple effect would be something that would achieve what educators have been trying to achieve for decades, academic achievement and parent participation from immigrants in public schools. I have on more than one occasion told a student that was a bit mischievous and not engaged in school about The Dream Act. It took time for this young adolescent to understand the intricacies of what would happen, but once the positive was understood, they did a complete turnaround. Of course I explained that the bill might not pass, but to all those reading this and have influence over others imagine if the following took place: The Dream Act passes then a student’s success in school is no longer abstract, it becomes very real. Pass and go to college or join the Armed Forces or Peace Corp. The down side is elementary; don't get in trouble, don't get any tickets, don't skip school, don't have children while still enrolled in school; just do the right thing and you become eligible to no longer be a person that is living in the shadows. You can take my word for it; if suddenly all these students were given this opportunity their parents would suddenly participate.

We all are aware of negative and positive peer pressure; imagine once again all these students suddenly turning in their homework, studying for tests, not skipping school and encouraging their peers that are permanent residents and citizens to do the same. Suddenly the cool thing to do is study, and become engaged in school. Parents would make sure students do their assignments, study for tests and attend parent meetings and hold schools accountable for educating their children to succeed in college.

I have over the years told many independent and center right voters the above and when presented with the truth they usually agree that since we are spending our tax dollars educating these children we might as well reap the rewards as a country of their brilliance and work values their parents brought with them from their countries. In other words the issue is not whether it leads to citizenship and who gets their vote and who doesn't. It is about our great country embracing these young immigrants as we have immigrants in the past. So in the future we can continue to be the land of opportunity and thrive as a great power, rather than the contrary.

In the long run we exercise our option to become a full part of this society where everyone, like it or not, is an immigrant.

The ripple effect would be something that would achieve what educators have been trying to achieve for decades, academic achievement and parent participation from immigrants in public schools. I have on more than one occasion told a student that was a bit mischievous and not engaged in school about The Dream Act. It took time for this young adolescent to understand the intricacies of what would happen, but once the positive was understood, they did a complete turnaround. Of course I explained that the bill might not pass, but to all those reading this and have influence over others imagine if the following took place: The Dream Act passes then a student’s success in school is no longer abstract, it becomes very real. Pass and go to college or join the Armed Forces or Peace Corp. The down side is elementary; don't get in trouble, don't get any tickets, don't skip school, don't have children while still enrolled in school; just do the right thing and you become eligible to no longer be a person that is living in the shadows. You can take my word for it; if suddenly all these students were given this opportunity their parents would suddenly participate.

We all are aware of negative and positive peer pressure; imagine once again all these students suddenly turning in their homework, studying for tests, not skipping school and encouraging their peers that are permanent residents and citizens to do the same. Suddenly the cool thing to do is study, and become engaged in school. Parents would make sure students do their assignments, study for tests and attend parent meetings and hold schools accountable for educating their children to succeed in college.

I have over the years told many independent and center right voters the above and when presented with the truth they usually agree that since we are spending our tax dollars educating these children we might as well reap the rewards as a country of their brilliance and work values their parents brought with them from their countries. In other words the issue is not whether it leads to citizenship and who gets their vote and who doesn't. It is about our great country embracing these young immigrants as we have immigrants in the past. So in the future we can continue to be the land of opportunity and thrive as a great power, rather than the contrary.

In the long run we exercise our option to become a full part of this society where everyone, like it or not, is an immigrant.