Monday, September 7, 2009

An Unfortunate Circumstance

                                                                                         The word child is usually synonymous with innocence. A child depends on his/her parents because they need protection, guidance, care and love. Day to day decisions that a parent makes may affect the future of a child, however small. When a parent decides to relocate to another country and reside there as an illegal immigrant, it is quite unfortunate for the child in this situation. Although, they are not the ones who made this decision they also have to suffer the consequences.
    Children of illegal immigrants go through grade school like any other child. Making use of free public education which is fueled by tax dollars of American citizens. This angers many hard working Americans, who also see more crowded class rooms, a decline in well educated teachers and school resources. Rightfully so. Nevertheless, most are good students who had no choice in their current situation. They feel like regualar American teenagers during their grade school life, but, when senior year rolls along, cold harsh reality sets in. They have no possible attempt at a bright future. Their's has already been written for them. If these kids did not already know, they find out that they cannot further their education at a higher level institution because of their status.
   Going back home is not an option, this is the only home they know. Frantically, they research avenues for a legal change of status but unfortunately none exist. The only path is through their parents, which is not feasible beacuse the parents put them in such a predicament. Despair slithers into the minds of the adolescence, forever to be branded an illegal alien. Friends are going off to college, day dreaming of future adventures. They are happy for their friends but tormented that they cannot get that chance. And some without hesitation decide to campaign for immigration reform, attending rallies and sending letters to Congress to aide them in their plight.
   A glimer of hope has appeared for the undocumented youth. Members of Congress have introduced several bills tackling immigration reform in both the House and Senate. On October 24, 2007, the Senate debated on a version of the DREAM Act S.2205 introduced by Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois. The bill eventually failed 8 votes short of overcoming a filibuster with a 52-44 vote. During the presidential election in 2008 both candidates promised to bring about immigration reform while also stressing securing the Mexican-American border. The new president set immigration reform as one of his top priorities. The DREAM Act was reintroduced in both chambers of Congress on Thursday, March 26, 2009. To date 80 representatives and 23 senators have co-sponsored the bill.
  The requirements to achieve a change of status include; having arrived in the U.S. before their 16th birthday, having lived in the U.S. at least for the last 5 yrs, have graduated from a U.S. high school or obtained an American G.E.D., serve in the military or attend college for at least 2yrs and be of good moral standing. Right now the presidents focus is healthcare, but he has said that he would tackle immigration in 2010. Groups such as the DREAM Act Portal and the United We DREAM Coalition have sprung up in support of the undocumented students and the DREAM Act. For the children who have so far suffered such an unfortunate circumstance, tomorrow seems much brighter than yesterday.

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