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(Published by POLITICO)

A new American 'Enlistment Act'



By DAVID G. ARREDONDO | 12/8/10 12:28 PM EST

Democrats, liberals and many Latinos are currently pushing passage of the Dream Act during the lame-duck Congress. Unfortunately, many of us are unsure of what they mean by the "Dream Act" since there appear to be continuing revisions made, to sell it to as many senators and congressmen as possible.

Originally, the Dream Act was proposed to provide amnesty for the children of illegal immigrants, who had been brought to America, perhaps one million or more. The intent is to allow these "children" – more than age 16 and less than 35 — to gain residency and citizenship provided they either attend two years of college or enlist in the military. Sounds doable. But actually, it involves unfunded mandates on the states, the creation of a new bureaucracy and an undetermined cost of taxpayer dollars. In addition, many in the field of education say that two years of college enrollment and credit can often provide little to a student’s higher education success.

But the biggest hidden cost is that once these students were awarded permanent residency, under current immigration law, they would then be able to sponsor their parents and other siblings for Permanent Residency status. Yes, the parents who created the issue by coming here illegally would have the opportunity to remain legally.

Last week the Dream Act’s Democratic sponsors began scaling back the age of eligibility – to age 29 from 35. Now is not the time to be revising the bill in hopes of gaining more votes. Congress needed to hold hearings about these various possibilities before making these revisions that now make the bill unclear.

Given the pressing needs of the economy, it is doubtful that any version of the Dream Act can be passed now.

Many on the right object to any amnesty until our borders are secured and a resolution of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants is settled. But there is a minimal action with no increased cost and no new bureaucracy that could help these eligible children of illegal immigrants. Consider this:

1. Individuals under the age 26, brought to the United States illegally as children, could be allowed to enlist in the armed forces and serve a four year enlistment. They would have to fulfill all military eligibility requirements.
2. While in the military, they will also receive Advanced Individual Training, to provide skills for the future.
3. After completion, and honorable discharge, they would be granted U.S. citizenship.
4. Their earned G.I. benefits would then allow them to enroll in an institution of higher learning.

I believe that this proposal is workable, in that it adds no new costs to our current federal budget and deficit. It does not burden the states' education systems. It establishes no new bureaucracies, gives the armed forces needed manpower, and qualifies the individual's enlistment eligibility and completion.

It is by no means going to be easy for these young people. But it gives these future military veterans stature, permanent residency and citizenship.

In effect, it would be the same benefit that legal immigrant permanent residents have historically earned—U.S. citizenship after honorable discharge from the armed forces.

David G. Arredondo is the director of international student services at Lorain County Community College. He is the vice chairman of the Lorain County Republican Party.

Promueve la diversidad dentro de nuestra propia comunidad hispana en cualquier lugar de EE.UU. / Promote diversity even among our own Hispanic Community anywhere in the USA.

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Reply with quote  #2 
Arredondo is wrong on many counts and it's shameful that someone of Mexican descent would oppose the Dream Act.  Contrary to what Arredondo says U.S. immigration policy is not based on assisting the "tired and poor."  It is unfortunately strongly based on racism giving preference to white Europeans and denying entrance to people from Asia, Africa and Latin America, which is why so many immigrants from Central America have no choice but to be undocumented.  These immigrants are not a drain on the economy and would not be "a burden on local, state and federal governments" if legalized.  The great majority work, pay taxes including into Social Security but because of their status are unable to receive social benefits.  They contribute to the economy but are forced to accept inferior wages and working conditions because they have no rights.  The Republican Party likes the current situation because it allows employers to exploit immigrants and use them to undermine wages and working conditions for all workers.  That is why the AFL-CIO, representing the interest of workers in our country, strongly supports the DREAM Act and calls for a path to citizenship for all the undocumented.  On Nov. 30, the AFL-CIO together with a coalition of other groups, launched a massive advertising campaign targetted at Republican members of Congress to pass the DREAM Act.

Rick Nagin


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Reply with quote  #3 

Sent to MercoHispano by David Arredondo of Lorain, Ohio - December 1, 2010

The Trojan Horse aka "The Dream Act"

Talk of the Dream Act should be just that, talk; there is no reason for its passage now as it is constituted. Its passage would be costly and wasteful and continue to exacerbate an immigration system that needs to be replaced, not reformed.

Legalizing a segment of the 12million undocumented persons in this country does not help the process of replacing our current 19th-Century based system predicated on "Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor." Verily, most of the 12 million here unlawfully may be described as "the tired and poor." Regardless of the state of our economy, it makes no sense to permanently absorb into our economy these millions who will require massive government assistance.

The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that at minimum under the Dream Act, 1 million will enroll in American colleges with costs of more than $6.2 billion a year. Once again there will be a Federal mandate for the states to provide in-state tuition and financial aid. In states like California, Texas and Arizona, the costs would be even more.

The Dream Act requires an undocumented student to complete at least 2 years of college to earn permanent residency and later citizenship.Those of us in the higher ed industry know that 2 years of studies doesn't qualify a student for much.

Perhaps the hidden effect that Liberals don't mention is that once the student qualifies for Permanent Residency, his parents, siblings, and extended family can then apply for the same thing under our current immigration system. Looks like a Trojan Horse to me.

This is all the more reason that the proposed Dream Act must be defeated. This is why we need to replace the current system with one that puts security first and does not provide for Amnesty for the millions "tired and poor" who would be a burden on local, state and federal governments. A new system predicated on residency and citizenship for "the Best and the Brightest" is needed but only after careful study of the needs of our country and economy. "Chain Migration" that allows for one permanent resident to bring entire extended families needs to be eliminated as well.

Democrats are to blame for having the votes to do pass the Act unilaterally and failing to do so these past two years. It does not look likely that the Dream Act or Amnesty will pass anytime soon. However, I could propose a sensible and streamlined act that might.

1. Give all current undocumented children brought here by their parents who are under the age of 26 and give them the opportunity to enlist in America's armed forces for at least 4 years. At that time they would be eligible for permanent residency and citizenship. In the military they would be trained for a specific occupation that will serve them when they muster out. Their service would make them eligible for the G.I. bill which gives them the opportunity to enroll in university for further education and training.
2. Suspend current immigration law that allows their parents who brought them here illegally from qualifying for Permanent Residency. In short, the only beneficiaries of Dream Act 2.0 law should be those who actually completed their military service.

Over the next several years we need to prioritize our nation's needs--national security,job creation, economic growth, deficit reduction, and smaller, more efficient government.


Promueve la diversidad dentro de nuestra propia comunidad hispana en cualquier lugar de EE.UU. / Promote diversity even among our own Hispanic Community anywhere in the USA.
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