It is hard to call someone who has lived in America since they were a toddler — and had no say in entering the country, illegally or otherwise — an illegal immigrant. Nonetheless, it is this very group of people barred from financial assistance for continuing education.
Enter: the DREAM Act. If passed, this bill will allow special government aid for illegal college and university students. Is the DREAM Act the answer to helping illegal immigrants obtain higher education?
Currently, allowing illegal students to remain in the country as aliens limits their schooling, jobs, scholarships and rights. So many smart students who had the drive to go to college can’t because of their illegal status.
Yet, the DREAM Act is a dangerous bill, advocating breaking our laws without penalty, and in fact, be rewarded for doing so. A possible solution to helping illegal immigrants could be in the form of a special scholarship that each university sets up if they so desire, or even following a similar process to that of accepting and aiding international students.
The DREAM Act may not be the answer, but before we throw it out without a thought, we have to remember the people benefiting from it are not necessarily the perpetrators of the problem.
Because of Biola’s proximity to this issue, both as a university and our location in Southern California, the DREAM Act should be a part of students’ conversations. Even if you’re not politically savvy, work to understand the issues surrounding and motivating the push toward the DREAM Act. In our conversations, let’s remember: It’s about people, not just politics.