Thursday, December 2, 2010
DREAMing is Nice But We Need to Wake Up
I like dreaming but after a good dream I like waking up. The other night I dreamed that I was on a beach on an island, clear blue waters, a subtle breeze running through my hair (or hijab) hey it's my dream - I can be hijabless, the only sounds were of the waves hitting the sand and the sounds of the birds flying around me. It was picture perfect. I was than awakened by the annoying sound of my alarm clock that reminds me everyday that I am not on a beach and it's time to start my daily hustle. So what's this I am talking about - dreams, the American dream. This week the DREAM Act, a law that would allow law abiding undocumented youth a chance at higher education is coming to a vote in the House. While I dream of white beaches, children in our country dream at a chance for higher education. Those eligible for the benefits of the DREAM Act are children who came at a young age with their parents who are undocumented. They did not come of their own free will but traveled with their parents just as any children would. Many of these undocumented youth are excellent students - many top of their class, are bilingual or in some cases trilingual and have the potential to be a great asset to their communities and our country as a whole. Once these students graduate high school - their future is shattered by the current policies that do not allow these students to further their education. We do not provide them a pathway to higher education and God forbid we send them on a pathway to legalization. I don't know about you guys but I live in the United States of America - the land of the free and home of the brave, the highest power in the world, one of the most sophisticated country's, the preacher of great knowledge, of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The country who prides itself on world class education. I also live in a country called the United States that has a broken immigration system, a country that tears families apart, a country that allows immigrant workers to be exploited, a country that has over 3 million of its citizens without health insurance. So the opponents of the DREAM Act say - we can't afford to pay for higher education for these youth, why should we award those in violation of immigration policies with world class education. Let me ask YOU some questions - Why can we afford trillions of dollars on wars, billions and billions of dollars to bail out corporate fat cats and greedy banks? We are already offering them free public elementary and secondary education. You have already invested in them as a country, why pull the investment before you gain the true benefit? Maybe if we stopped investing all this money on wars we can provide world class education to these students who are the future of this country. Young people who will become educated and become professionals, scientists, educators, entrepreneurs - contributors to our suffering economy. I don't know about you but I would never be able to look a child in the face and tell them that they have NO FUTURE. If we do not pass the DREAM Act - that's exactly what we are telling them. Let's not punish these children for the decisions their parents made. Let's also not jump to say its their parents fault. Why did their parents decide to come to the United States - for the very reasons I listed above and for the very reasons why I love this country - opportunity and the chance to make their dreams a reality. Education and healthcare are not things we should be fighting for in a country like the United States, education and healthcare should be a right. I dream of a day when we as a country genuinely recognize the contributions of immigrants, hell I dream of a day when our country realizes there would be no United States without immigrants. Period. Let's pass the DREAM Act - because its the right thing to do.