Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Route to Citizenship in Defense Bill
Legislation Offers Illegal Residents Chance to Become Americans Through Military Service or College; Foes Call It Amnesty

LOS ANGELES—David Cho, an honor student and leader of the UCLA marching band, plans to join the U.S. Air Force after he graduates in the spring—if Congress lets him.

Mr. Cho is among the potential beneficiaries of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors bill—informally known as the Dream Act—that would give some illegal immigrants a shot at becoming U.S. citizens.

The bill would grant six years of legal residency to high-school graduates who have lived in the U.S. continuously for five years and arrived by the age of 15. They would become eligible for citizenship if they attend college or serve in the military for two years during the legal residency period.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) said this week that he planned to attach the Dream Act to the defense-authorization bill next week.

To supporters, the Dream Act would encourage young people to join the military and attend college, two laudable goals.

To opponents, the bill is tantamount to an amnesty program for children whose parents broke U.S. immigration laws.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) believes passage of the Dream Act would entice more people to sneak into the U.S. "When you take a policy that says you are going to reward people who have entered our country illegally with a guaranteed pathway to citizenship, and with billions of dollars in financial aid or benefits they would not otherwise be entitled to, what message are we sending?" Sen. Sessions said...

[Full Article]