12/13/2010 9:21:00 AM We can't afford a failed DREAM
Catholic Sentinel photo by Kim Nguyen
A demonstrator at Portland City Hall urges support for DREAM Act.
It's a win-win bill that deserves to pass.
The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, passed in the U.S. House last week, would provide a path to legal residency for undocumented youths who were brought to the United States by their parents and now, because of their lack of status, face obstacles to their future.
The Senate should approve the DREAM Act, which is good for the individuals who qualify and also for U.S. society in general. If passed, youths could work their way to legality through college or service in the military.
That means blameless young people receive opportunity and our nation gets a boost of youthful enterprise.
The legislation will apply to students in both public and private education, including those attending Catholic schools.
"Those who would benefit from the DREAM Act are talented, intelligent, and dedicated young persons who know only the United States as their home," Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City told lawmakers last year. "They can become some of the future leaders of our country, provided we are wise enough to provide them the opportunity to pursue their dreams."
Not only that — the Congressional Budget Office indicates that enacting the bill would reduce deficits by about $1.4 billion by 2020 because of an increase in tax revenues.
Those who oppose the act are either scrupulous about immigration enforcement or are holding out for wider-reaching immigration reform.
We are sympathetic to their rigorous stands. But neither faith nor morals will suffer if the DREAM Act is approved. On the contrary, our church and all Americans stand to advance because of it. The DREAM Act is noble and useful all at once.