Miami, FL (PressExposure) July 27, 2011 -- Dream is an acronym for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors. It is a bi-partisan legislative proposal that addresses the problems faced by young people who have grown up in the U.S. but have no legal status due to no fault of their own. Many of these young people came to the U.S. as infants or small children and grew up believing in the American Dream but find their future is bleak despite having studied hard, staying out of trouble and doing much in the way of community service.
One of the fears that some opponents of the Dream Act give is that allowing these young people to enter the military will weaken the military. The Military does not share that view. On June 28th, The Honorable Clifford L. Stanley, Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the Dream Act. His testimony included the following:
"The Armed Forces of our great nation - a nation of immigrants - have a long and distinguished history of the valor and sacrifices made by those who call the United States home, but are not yet citizens. The topic for today's hearing, the DREAM Act, expands this opportunity to young people brought to our country as children who are currently in an undocumented status through no fault of their own."
" an estimated 65,000 undocumented students, who have been in the United States for at least five years, graduate from high school each year. These young men and women often mirror the kind of "high quality" youth the Services target for enlistment, but they have difficulty affording college and cannot join the military, legally work in the U. S, or apply for U.S. citizenship, permanent residence, or other legal status. They are scholars, student leaders, and athletes; in fact, many have participated in high school Junior ROTC programs."
"The DREAM Act's primary impact on the Armed Forces would be an increase in the pool of high quality, motivated youth with a potential for military service. This is particularly important since each of the Services seeks only the highest quality recruits from the available market. Of course, candidates enlisting under the DREAM Act would be subject to the same rigorous entrance standards as all other applicants, maintaining the quality and integrity of the force."
Clearly the fear of some people that the Dream act would weaken the military is not shared by the Military leaders who have carefully studied and analyzed this proposed legislation.
For More Information
Analysis: Differences between S. 3992 and H.R.6497, December 8, 2010, American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Summary: DREAM Act: Summary, March 2009, National Immigration Law Center.
Issue Brief: DREAM Act: Basic Information, March 2009, National Immigration Law Center.
Backgrounder: The DREAM Act, America's Voice (August 2010).
Fact Sheet: Dreams Deferred: The Costs of Ignoring Undocumented Students, October 18, 2007, Immigration Policy Center.
Fact Sheet: The DREAM Act: Building the Momentum for Immigration Reform, National Immigration Forum.
Fact Sheet: Passing the DREAM Act would Benefit the U.S. Military, America's Voice.
Advocacy Materials: DREAM Act Advocacy Toolkit, May 2009, Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Report: Young Lives on Hold: The College Dreams of Undocumented Students, April 21, 2009, The College Board
Report: Wasted Talent and Broken Dreams: The Lost Potential of Undocumented Students, October 2007, Immigration Policy Center.
Report: American DREAM: How the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act Would Strengthen and Expand the American Middle Class, March 2, 2010, Drum Major Institute for Public Policy.
Analysis: DREAM vs. Reality: An Analysis of Potential DREAM Act Beneficiaries, Migration Policy Institute (July 2010)
Public Opinion Poll: Public Support for the DREAM Act, First Focus (June 2010). Poll conducted by Opinion Research Corporation showing 70 percent for the DREAM Act.
Article: The DREAM Act: Tapping an Overlooked Pool of Homegrown Talent to Meet Military Enlistment Needs, Margaret Stock, Associate Professor, Department of Law, United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., January 15, 2006 in Benders Immigration Bulletin.
Opinion: Editorial Boards: Call for Passage of the DREAM Act, (Editorials compiled by America's Voice)
Case Study: The Outsider, February 22, 2009, Phuong Ly, Washington Post Magazine.
Web site: United We DREAM