The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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The Hawkeye December 2023 issue
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DREAM Act gives foreign families and students help achieving theirs

Erika Fisher | Hawkeye

If you think about your life, what do you envision? Do you see yourself finishing high school, then maybe getting a job and going off to college to continue the next chapter of your education? For many, this is the path that will be followed, leading them into a life where getting a career is easy due to the amount of college education and the slip of paper stating that they are in fact, American. Still a large majority of people do not get to experience this. People who immigrate to the United States and do not obtain legal citizenship will most likely live in poor conditions for most of their lives while being unable to obtain higher education or employment because of their lack of proof for citizenship. This one stipulation hurts families of foreign citizenship everywhere in the United States.

Erika Fisher | Hawkeye
Erika Fisher | Hawkeye

Now, that is just a thing of the past. A large step has been taken toward helping the affected families. In Washington, the D.R.E.A.M. Act has passed in the House of Representatives. The D.R.E.A.M. Act stands for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors. To qualify for this bill, a person must have been 15 years old, five years before the bill was set in place. If no crime or conviction had been taken place, then that person would qualify to apply for scholarships for college, or to apply to the military. After either two years in the military, or graduating with a two year degree, the person may apply for permanent citizenship.

This bill is long overdue. There are many impoverished families that immigrate to the United States that obviously have something to contribute to society. This bill could hopefully set the precedent that other states could follow.

Before this bill, a college that was found giving scholarship money to a student of non-American citizenship could be fined a hefty sum of money. This is the equivalent of being back in elementary school where the bully would take your lunch money. Well finally a nice person decided to help, but then was scolded by a teacher for helping you. When put in those terms, it becomes a little more easy to understand the injustice.

This bill passed in Washington state, but not without its fair share of criticism. Those who oppose this bill bring up some “problems” the bill would bring. The idea is that if an illegal immigrant is offered a chance at a scholarship, it’s taking away from a hardworking American family who has been paying taxes their whole life. This does not seem “fair” to those who have been here all along.

There is a problem with that theory. You see, though an immigrant student may beat out your precious son or daughter, it most likely means that he or she was smarter, faster, or better in someway to win that scholarship. This shows that this student has something to offer to the world. All of those years that his or her family couldn’t pay taxes for fear of deportation will most likely be paid back in the form of his or her future career. Whether that be a brain surgeon or a professional athlete, they deserve a chance to attain their dreams just as much as any American. Plus, it isn’t the child’s fault that he or she is here illegally. The student was most likely either born in the United States or brought her as an infant.

Another problem brought up is that this bill will supposedly cause a massive influx of illegal immigrants attracted by this obtainable citizenship. To quote Congressman Tom Tancredo, “It will increase the amount of people who come to the United States illegally.” Maybe Tom, but that problem only has validity if every illegal immigrant who is eligible for this bill has the skills to obtain said scholarship or entrance to the military. Well, since 1.1 million people every year enter the United States illegally, according to, the chance that every single one of them will have the skills to enter the military or go to college is very slim. If by some miracle that did happen, wouldn’t that be good? We need more people like that because in case you haven’t noticed, Americans are lazy! While these gifted immigrants are getting GED’s, most of us will be getting onto the couch to watch Honey Boo Boo do whatever she does that we find so funny and other shows of the like.

The point is this bill is revolutionary. This could potentially give way to a new perspective on looking at our illegal immigration problem without making life so hard for them and as a result, causing them to feel as if they aren’t welcome and end up going back “home.” We should embrace the gifted immigrants we have without being blindly dismissive while only keying in on their citizenship.

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