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Right to DREAM

Immigration Reform and America’s Future

William A. Schwab

Publication Year: 2013

The DREAM Act, bipartisan legislation first introduced in Congress in 2001, would provide conditional residency for undocumented youth brought to the United States as children. It recognizes that undocumented youth have done nothing wrong and that they should be allowed to work, to go to school, and to travel. The bill makes college more affordable through in-state tuition and gives the undocumented a path to citizenship if they graduate from college or serve in the military. Congress has failed to pass the DREAM Act, and fourteen states have filled the gap by implementing their own laws and policies that provide educational benefits to undocumented students. Right to DREAM makes a compelling argument for the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform. William A. Schwab explores the key issues surrounding this legislation: What are the issues that divide? What do the proponents and opponents of the DREAM Act argue? Is there a middle ground? Is compromise possible? Answering these questions, Schwab explains the legal issues surrounding the education of immigrant children, who immigrates and why, how four waves of immigration have shaped the nation, the effects of immigrants on the U.S. economy and culture, and the process of becoming an American. Schwab analyzes the DREAM Act, deferred action, and immigration policy. He weaves personal stories of undocumented youth throughout the book and advocates for the economic, political, and social benefits of the DREAM Act that would bring undocumented youth out of the shadows and into the mainstream of society.

Published by: University of Arkansas Press

Titlie Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Foreword

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pp. ix-x

So, you have decided to learn more about the DREAM Act. I cannot encourage you enough. The path that led me to support the DREAM Act began in May 2008 when the Arkansas Department of Higher Education advised Arkansas universities that offering in-state tuition to students who did not possess a social security number might violate federal law. ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

This book is my fourth. I began working on it in January 2012 and projected a six-month timeline. Like so much in life, other things intervened—new professional responsibilities, my work in Jordan, appreciating my wife and grandchildren, and dealing with the vagaries of life. ...

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Introduction

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pp. 3-12

Zacatecas, the Nauhatl name for the north-central region of Mexico given by the indigenous people that inhabited the area. It is also the name of the state where I was born twenty-three years ago. It is a place rich with silver mining, as well as colonial history and present-day culture. ...

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Part 1: Answering the Critics

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pp. 13-16

As with other domestic issues, Americans are deeply divided in their beliefs about the long-term effect of our current immigration policy. Some groups, like the Cato Institute, see immigration as a key to a robust and expanding economy, a continuation of the melting pot process that has made America great. ...

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One: These Children Are Blameless

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pp. 17-28

The critics of the DREAM Act argue that Congress twice clearly stated the nation’s position on illegal immigration during the Clinton administration by passing the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) and the Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act (IIRIRA). ...

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Two: Immigration 101

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pp. 29-36

In this chapter I show that the overwhelming majority of the families who currently cross our borders come for immediate economic gain and that passage of the DREAM Act would not enter into their decision to immigrate to the United States. I have gained a better understanding of the immigration process from my research on northwest Arkansas’s Hispanic community. ...

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Three: Spend a Trillion Dollars a Year and You Are a Tax Burden?

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pp. 37-48

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a conservative advocacy group that favors tougher immigration laws, contends that illegal aliens cost U.S. taxpayers more than $100 billion each year. Jack Martin, director of special projects for FAIR, believes “undocumented workers leave taxpayers with a fat bill, ...

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Four: Salsa, America’s Number-One Condiment

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pp. 49-64

In 2010 the United States granted permanent legal residency to 1.1 million immigrants—Germans, Greeks, Swedes, Norwegians, Japanese, Koreans, Chinese, Laotians, Vietnamese, Ethiopians, Columbians, Nigerians, Kenyans, French, English, Irish, Russians, Italians, Croatians, Peruvians, Poles, Czechs, Hungarians, ...

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Five: The Melting Pot, Mixed with Just a Few New Ingredients

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pp. 65-78

We are a nation shaped by four waves of immigrants, the last two having the greatest impact, because of their size and diversity. During the third wave, which began in the 1860s and ended in the 1920s, the nation absorbed 24 million immigrants from eastern and southern Europe, reaching a peak of 15 percent of the population in 1890, the largest percentage in our history. ...

Part 2: The DREAM Act, DREAMers, and America’s Future

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Six: The DREAM Act: Nuts and Bolts

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pp. 81-98

President Obama’s June 15, 2012 bombshell announcement that deportation rules will be eased to allow some young undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States was received by DREAMers with a mixture of joy, relief, hope, incredulity, caution, and distrust. Minutes after hearing the announcement, I e-mailed the young people I had been working with ...

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Seven: Meet Two DREAMers

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pp. 99-118

Unlike the governments in other developed nations, the U.S. federal government plays a minor role in the assimilation of immigrants into our society. This responsibility falls to local communities and their neighborhoods, churches, schools, and workplaces. Perhaps surprisingly, this arrangement works well. ...

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Eight: Next Steps: Where We Go from Here

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pp. 119-130

In the first five chapters I addressed the following five most common arguments against the DREAM Act: (1) undocumented students are criminals; (2) passing the DREAM Act would reward and increase illegal immigration; (3) the undocumented burden services and drain tax revenues; (4) immigrants are changing the national character; ...

Notes

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pp. 131-142

Index

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pp. 143-146

Back Cover

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p. 159-159


E-ISBN-13: 9781610755269
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557286383

Page Count: 150
Publication Year: 2013