The DREAM Act for Jessica Colotl

I’m a big fan of the DREAM Act, which would allow promising illegal immigrants to get college degrees and then get on the path to citizenship. This country desperately needs more college graduates, and there is little argument that undocumented college graduates would burden our financial resources. Because it is narrowly tailored, it wouldn’t prompt a stampede across our borders, as detractors claim.
And The DREAM Act would free promising students like Jessica Colotl to focus on their studies:

Jessica Colotl, 21, is a senior at Kennesaw State University, a political science major and a member of Lambda Theta Alpha, a college sorority. She wants to attend law school.

However, she came to this country illegally, with her parents, when she was a child. And her detractors don’t care what she’s accomplished since then. They want to send her back to Mexico, a country she barely knows.

But for years, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has been reluctant to endorse the DREAM Act as a separate piece of legislation, fearing that, if it passes, they won’t get the necessary votes for the rest of comprehensive immigration reform. This week, the caucus, happily, changed its mind and will support the DREAM act as a separate bill. (h/t Think Progress)

Today however, at the Reform Immigration for America campaign’s “Relief, Reform, Respect for our Families” forum, CHC Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) announced that the caucus supports Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-NV) addition of the DREAM Act as an amendment to the defense authorization bill, stating “the time is now” for the DREAM Act:

As chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus I stand here before you to say that all along we have said to the Democratic leadership — in the House and in the Senate — and to the President every time we’ve met with him that we will not stand in the way of the DREAM Act, but there has to be a commitment that no amendments will be allowed to be included in this bill. We will support the DREAM Act. [...]

As I’ve written before:

Congress ought to concentrate on a few small bills that would represent a modest improvement over the current reality for millions of those without papers — a life of living in the shadows, without legal protections, with continual fear of deportation and little chance for improved circumstances.

One of the best opportunities lies in the DREAM Act, which would allow promising undocumented students to start a path toward citizenship if they meet certain standards. The proposal — pushed for years by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) — is intended to boost illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, have finished high school and want to attend college or join the U.S. Armed Forces. The bill is a win not only for those students, but also for the country as a whole.

Much of the fury directed at illegal immigrants feeds off the notion that many of them are unfairly taking advantage of benefits that should be restricted to American citizens. However, that’s not the case with college; undocumented students are not displacing bona fide citizens who have been denied a seat in Calculus II.

In fact, the United States doesn’t have nearly enough students attending college. President Obama has talked again and again about the country’s decline in educational attainment: the U.S. used to the lead the world in the number of people with college degrees, but we’ve fallen behind.

162 comments Add your comment

Libertarian

September 16th, 2010
4:32 pm

I don’t agree with attaching it to a defense bill. The two are completely unrelated. Its just political games, per usual.

granny godzilla

September 16th, 2010
4:32 pm

It would be a very good thing if it were to pass.

jarvis

September 16th, 2010
4:36 pm

How about we educate our population on the benefits of two-parent households?
A father is a wonderful thing.

T-Town

September 16th, 2010
4:46 pm

Wasn’t this the young lady who was driving w/o a driver’s license and lied to the police? Oh, never mind, I see she wants to be a lawyer. I’m curious, who’s paying for her college?

Tommy Maddox

September 16th, 2010
4:51 pm

“This country desperately needs more college graduates, and there is little argument that undocumented college graduates would burden our financial resources”?

Let’s see – colleges are pumping out graduates a dime a dozen. No problem there [until they try to find a JOB];

Undocumented [illegal] graduates took a place that a legal student could have had. Problem there.

If you’re all for streamlining the process, that’s swell. Just do not allow anyone here illegally to apply and send the reset to the back of the line of those folks who are already waiting in line to be admitted.

If you’re simply trying to build up a voting block [which is readily apparent], you’re pitiful.

ctucker

September 16th, 2010
4:52 pm

Tommy Maddox@4:51, We are hardly “pumping out graduates a dime a dozen.” The US used to lead the world among adult with college degrees. Now, we’ve fallen to 12th place

Tommy Maddox

September 16th, 2010
4:52 pm

As for law school, that gal has already blown her chance to sit for the bar.

she still broke the law

September 16th, 2010
4:53 pm

She committed a traffic violation, she had no legal proof of her ID, including a driver license, she may not have had insurance. All crimes. AND she was getting scholarship money that was for legal citizens. A legal citizen who committed those crimes would lose their scholarship or grant money, I know, I was on scholarship and it had a morals clause.

ctucker

September 16th, 2010
4:53 pm

jarvis@4:36, I have no problem with that.

gt

September 16th, 2010
4:55 pm

The key terms are “illegal” and “undocumented”. Get legal and documented and you are more than welcome to attend our nations higher learning institutions. What part of “illegal’ is not understood.

barking frog

September 16th, 2010
4:56 pm

If you can remain in this country long enough to
raise your kids to college age you should be
granted citizenship. If the government does not
see fit to enforce the laws for five years you should
get a permanent visa or some sort of legality.
The only people i see being hurt are those
standing in line to enter the country legally.
Personally I prefer negotiated open borders.

Joel

September 16th, 2010
4:56 pm

you pay for the degrees ct.

Joel

September 16th, 2010
4:56 pm

dont steal it from me

Tommy Maddox

September 16th, 2010
4:57 pm

CT – who are all those folks we see every Spring wearing black garb receiving parchment? Besides, as the population increases the percentage will drop due to a static number class spots available.

joe

September 16th, 2010
5:00 pm

With unemployment at 10%, the last thing we need is to let more illegals come into our country to graduate and compete with US citizens for jobs…if there were more open jobs than applicants, maybe I’d agree with CT, but not now with things the way they are currently…that just compounds the problem.

David Fisher

September 16th, 2010
5:01 pm

The DREAM Act no more than backdoor piecemeal BLANKET AMNESTY for the ILLEGALS!

Scout

September 16th, 2010
5:01 pm

Cynthia:

Can you please do a little research for me?

Who needs college graduates more – Mexico or the USA ?

Tony

September 16th, 2010
5:02 pm

Nationwide, the black student college graduation rate remains at a dismally low 43 percent (this from the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. The rates are lower for “our” disabled.

Let’s take care of the home front- push countries like Mexico to better set up the infrastructure for their citizens to succeed.

Tommy Maddox

September 16th, 2010
5:02 pm

David wins the prize!

JohnnyReb

September 16th, 2010
5:02 pm

“This country desperately needs more college graduates.”

No argument with needing more graduates, however, there appears no shortage of first year applicants without adding more illegals via the Dream Act. From the Univ of GA website:

First Year Applications Received: 17,475
First Year Applicants Admitted: 10,329

Ernesto

September 16th, 2010
5:02 pm

DREAM Act is only for those who were brought to the country at the age of 16 or younger. Most of these kids have grown in the US and most of them speak predominantly or only English. For most of those kids coming to this country illegally was not an option. Once they are grown, they have to decide to either stay here to support their families or go back to an unknown country full of violence and political problems.

They can become a great asset to this country because they have become part of it. Please support the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors (DREAM) Act which is amendment to the defense authorization bill.

barking frog

September 16th, 2010
5:03 pm

You may disagree,but I think more and more kids
are looking at the people with degrees and saying
I’m not going to spend the time and money to be
like that. Even poor kids don’t want the debt.

thrash223

September 16th, 2010
5:04 pm

All I can say is wow… You applaud the concepts that give the middle finger to our laws (both federal and state), screw our citizens, rob our tax payers, weaken our national security, and trash the concept of US sovereignty.

I don’t blame those who are illegal for being here I blame those who allowed them to be here in the first place.

But we can’t correct their mistakes without correcting what is broken and your grand DREAM act is nothing more than a broken solution to a shattered problem… Piece by piece trash legislation such as this is killing our nation.

Jethro

September 16th, 2010
5:05 pm

If they pay for it, great. If they get a scholarship from their university, great. They pay out-of-state tuition, and no Hope scholarships. They sign an agreement stating that they will attain citizenship within 6 months of graduation.

Sounds simple enough to me.

Joel

September 16th, 2010
5:05 pm

barking frog, this is true. traditonal education is overrated as long as you are willing bust your ass and learn on the job

ken R

September 16th, 2010
5:06 pm

I recommend that everyone watch BOARDER WARS presented by Natgeo an objective group and then tell me you want illegals streaming over our borders. Please don’t comment if you haven’t seen the show as it will just show how dumb you really are.

Arthur

September 16th, 2010
5:07 pm

Illegal is illegal as in excessive speed , robbery and rape. Illegal taking of education benefits in my book is no different as it is theft by taking. Our economy now has 47 million living under poverty level. We now have 1 in 7 Americans living under poverty level. Our myopic government has taken 8 million American jobs (Fed Ex just eliminated 1,700 today 9/16/201o to reduce domestic costs while building up international) 40 % of the class of 2009 has no job commensurate with their education and fully 70% of class of 2010 in same boat. These young people dont show up on the unemployment list because they have not been gainfully employed. The AJC is insane to support illegal education they would be better off in therirown country instead of in our country pulling us further down financially!!

Arlo

September 16th, 2010
5:09 pm

What benefit will Americans see from using US taxpayer resources to educate those here illegally? Public schools have already cut music & arts from their curiculums because now we have a huge influx of kids that need to learn English. Illegals renting a home with 3-4 other families with kids, pay no property taxes, so they are already siphoning off benefits they do not deserve or pay for. If those same illegals would have used half as much time & energy protesting and demanding rights in their native country, there would be no reason for them to come here.

SouthGaDawg

September 16th, 2010
5:10 pm

CT,

You’re not telling the whole truch about what place America sits at with percentage of adults with college degrees….it’s 12th place for adults aged 25 to 34.

We’re 6th place for ALL adults. However, for adults aged 35 to 64, we’re in 2nd place just a few percentage points behind Canada.

You’re welcome.

barking frog

September 16th, 2010
5:10 pm

Joel 5:05 Working anywhere takes training but not
necessarily a university degree and those with
university degrees are not finding work as readily
as some of the techs.

Scout

September 16th, 2010
5:11 pm

Cynthia:

I’m waiting.

Tony

September 16th, 2010
5:12 pm

Don’t worry- we will have an immigration czar that will ensure that only the pretty and smarts are brought in. Arthur- forgot about our on- it is always important to take a very fragmented and piece meal approach wrapped with a lot of emotion to go after a problem.

Craig - The real Criag

September 16th, 2010
5:12 pm

CT-
I think we can agree that this is a great idea in principle. And it is not their fault that their parents forced them into this situation but we need to address the core issues surrounding it.

So I have 2 questions for you, first is how would you propose we handle the parents who are still here illegally, do we allow them to continue to live here with zero repercussions or allow them to return to their native country and have an accelerated visa process?

Second is how would their public services be subsidize since they are not paying taxes nor are their parents? And you cannot say tax the rich, you have already picked that solution for Health Care, Medicare, Social Security, Transportation and Legal Citizen’s Public Services.

Arlo

September 16th, 2010
5:14 pm

As far as Jessica Colotl is concerned, who in their right mind would ever hire an attorney that knowingly broke several laws, milked the US government, lied to a police officer and wrongfully accepted in-state tuition when she clearly knew she was here illegally? She will never be allowed to practice law in this country given her criminal history (although she will probably lie about that too).

SouthGaDawg

September 16th, 2010
5:14 pm

Further, CT, your argument is a fallacy. The “DREAM” Act only requires completion of 2 years of college for an ILLEGAL ALIEN to become a US Citizen. Hence, they don’t even have to get a college degree to become a citizen under this program, and therefore there’s no guarantee it will lead to an increase in college graduates.

However, I do believe that if an ILLEGAL serves in the armed forced, they should be afforded a right to become a US Citizen. They’ve actually proven their worth to this country at that point and therefore they should be afforded the benefit of becoming a citizen. (unlike many of the useless citizens and ILLEGALS in this country).

Stonethrower

September 16th, 2010
5:14 pm

Here is food for thought. A few years back we moved an ice skater from Canada to the head of the line to become a US citizen in time to compete in the Olympics and George W. signed off on it. Hmmmmmmmm

Tommy Maddox

September 16th, 2010
5:15 pm

“Gee Mr. President, what are you doing to create jobs? What about helping the economy?

Only 46 days to the election and all you want to bestow upon us is amnesty?”

Again, someone’s not listening.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

September 16th, 2010
5:16 pm

Good afternoon all, I respectfully dissent. i oppose any program that anoints overlords, foreign or domestic. I am an open-borders type, and would be far more comfortable with amending US immigration law to all 30 million new residents per year, subject to screening for disease and criminal history.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

September 16th, 2010
5:17 pm

Apologies, “all 30 million” should have read “allow 30 million.”

SouthGaDawg

September 16th, 2010
5:18 pm

You guys are wasing your typing skills. CT’s out of here now. She’s been presented with too many facts that fly in the face of her opinion.

USMC DAWG

September 16th, 2010
5:20 pm

Another Moronic idea from Leftwing Looneys like Cynthia Tucker:

Cynthia, by enacting DREAM, you create a vacuum of Illegal Aliens to our country that will KILL our system and way of life.

We cannot be everything to everybody (Nation) in the world.

Let MEXICO improve their system of government and improve their own way of life and leave the United States out of their problems.

Use your head!

old-timer

September 16th, 2010
5:23 pm

It should not be attached to the defense bill. It is not a matter of security. The other problem I have illegal immigrants are breaking our law by being here. We can hardly take care of our own. I do not understand not enforcing American Law…..

Scout

September 16th, 2010
5:23 pm

Badges ? …………… BADGES ! ………………. We don’t need no STINKING badges !

Ragnar Danneskjöld

September 16th, 2010
5:24 pm

I have another idea – let’s expel one slacker for every new one we bring in. We could purge America of our leftists within five years.

Scout

September 16th, 2010
5:25 pm

old-timer:

” I do not understand not enforcing American Law…..”

I’m not trying to be rude but I would venture it’s because you don’t understand liberalism.

JohnnyReb

September 16th, 2010
5:25 pm

It’s easy to have empathy for the illegal children especially after reading Ernesto’s post. However, who is to blame for this situation? The US taxpayers or the children’s illegal parents? Obviously, the parents. Why do US Taxpayers have to fix it by waving a wand and basically saying, it’s OK. Well, it’s not OK. There are collateral damages from illegal acts and this is one of them. If the Dream Act passes, the next thing will be no deportation of the illegal parents because they have an approved child in US College. Sometimes saying NO is difficult. This is one of those times.

And, a pox on Harry Reid for attaching Dream to the defense bill. And, Lefties wonder why they are at this moment so dispised by conservatives.

DIT

September 16th, 2010
5:25 pm

Hey great idea CT and while we are at why don’t we allow them to go to flight school so they can learn oh…. let’s say….. HOW TO FLY AN AIRPLANE INTO A BUILDING!!!
Please do us all a favor and think before you type. I know it’s hard for you, but try it toots!

USMC DAWG

September 16th, 2010
5:26 pm

Where is the OUTRAGE at MEXICO for not handling it’s own business and pushing the idea of RECONQUISTADOR- which means they want to RECONQUER the Unites States.

We have paid enough for Mexico’s Illegal Alien BABIES, etc.in our Hospitals!

Guess who pays the bill for these parasites?

markie mark

September 16th, 2010
5:26 pm

hey Stonethrower…thats always been the criteria for fast tracking to being a citizen…what do you bring to the table that the US needs. The ability to do manual labor was usually not one of the considered criteria. That being said, we need to have a guest worker program where they have to check in regularly, and leave to go home regularly to be admitted back. (Australia has this in the 70’s when I wanted to go to work there. Visa good for 6 months, then you had to leave the country for a week or two or be deported as an illegal alien trying to establish residence – these ideas have been around for a LONG time, ya’ll…)

Contractor

September 16th, 2010
5:30 pm

Whoa Whoa Whoa, we need to let her finish school and graduate? Who paid for her school as an illegal immigrant through her first 12 years of primary school? It’s a statistic that is cost $8-10,000 a year to educate and pay for one kid to attend public school. This girl, like many others leached off the public for years. She knew with age that she was an illegal immigrant with no papers stating why she should remain here. The same thing with all illegals, they attempt to get away with a crime, until they get caught, and then they start spinning wheels on trying to finally make it right. They didn’t apply for citizenship from the beginning because they were trying to get away with it, and she got caught. Why didn’t she apply for her citizenship, or take the necessary steps towards filing Tucker? And this country does churn out college graduates a dime a dozen. Just because we are 12th in the world, doesn’t mean we aren’t educating children. This girl broke the law multiple ways, yet she wants to be a lawyer? How can you sit there and say someone who knowingly breaks the law, is a suitable person to uphold the laws of this country? You need a reality check Tucker, by way of a backhand, because you have fallen off the horse and need to be knocked back into reality. Who is paying her college? Kennesaw’s tuition is roughly $3000 a semester, and I know she doesn’t pay that, go to school, and work full time, so please give us some numbers for how she is providing education for herself, or is it the American people doing it, yet again?