The DREAM Act is common-sense legislation drafted by both Republicans and Democrats that would give students who grew up in the United States a chance to contribute to our country’s well-being by serving in the U.S. armed forces or pursuing a higher education. It’s good for our economy, our security, and our nation. That’s why the DREAM Act has long enjoyed bipartisan support. It’s limited, targeted legislation that will allow only the best and brightest young people to earn their legal status after a rigorous and lengthy process, and applies to those brought to the United States as minors through no fault of their own by their parents, and who know no other home.
Our country will reap enormous benefits when the DREAM Act is finally enacted:
- The DREAM Act will contribute to our military’s recruitment efforts and readiness. Secretary of Defense Gates has written to DREAM Act sponsors citing the rich precedent of non-citizens serving in the U.S. military and stating that “the DREAM Act represents an opportunity to expand [the recruiting] pool, to the advantage of military recruiting and readiness.” The DREAM Act is also a part of the Department of Defense's 2010-2012 Strategic Planto assist the military in its recruiting efforts.
- The DREAM Act will make our country more competitive in the global economy. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has stated that passing the DREAM Act will allow “these young people to live up to their fullest potential and contribute to the economic growth of our country.” In particular, the DREAM Act will play an important part in the nation’s efforts to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020,” something vital for America to remain competitive in today’s global economy.
- The DREAM Act will have important economic benefits. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the DREAM Act in its current form will cut the deficit by $1.4 billion and increase government revenues by $2.3 billion over the next 10 years. According to a recent UCLA study, students that would be impacted by the DREAM Act could add between $1.4 to $3.6 trillion in taxable income to our economy over the course of careers, depending on how many ultimately gain legal status. This income is substantially higher than the income they would earn if they were unable to attend and complete a college education. In fact, research indicates that the average college graduate earned nearly 60 percent more than a high-school graduate. We have much to gain from doing right by these young people.
- The DREAM Act will allow our immigration and border security experts to focus on those who pose a serious threat to our nation’s security. Secretary Napolitano believes this targeted legislation provides a firm but fair way to deal with innocent children brought to the U.S. at a young age so that the Department of Homeland Security can dedicate their enforcement resources to detaining and deporting criminals and those who pose a threat to our country.