Youth Should Qualify for Full DREAM Act Benefits

Think about it: This is the only home they know. How would you feel if you were taken from the only home you know and separated from your friends and family? This is a loophole in our legal definition of being an American citizen. The California DREAM Act enables eligible students who entered the United States illegally to obtain financial aid to attend college. For youth deemed as having “good moral character,” financial aid is only one step toward success. However, many obstacles still exist that hinder their productivity. 

Youth who qualify for the DREAM Act should be able to gain citizenship and not live under the label of “illegal immigrant.” By not having legal citizenship, these youth are barred from obtaining a driver’s license, health care insurance, or other vital services needed to live productively. Thus, their ability to fully contribute to society is impaired. What is the point of having a college education if one cannot legally drive to a job that contributes to the California economy? The full benefits of the DREAM Act should be incorporated into California Law.

Our country will acquire enormous benefits to our economy, our security, and our society when the DREAM Act 2013 is enacted. By allowing these youth to be American citizens, our nation will gain the asset of productive workers with intelligence, culture, and passion. We will have a strengthened military and a more united front with our neighboring countries. If we take away the stigma and the barriers that discriminate against this vulnerable population, America will reap the benefits of a more fruitful society through a more unified and strengthened workforce and equal access to opportunities.

— Jennifer Allen
Dawn Brooks
Cynthia Lopez Herrera
CSU Long Beach 
School of Social Work
Master’s students