Friday, June 25, 2010
The so-called "Dream Act" would allow illegal immigrants to attend our most prestigious universities, and at in-state tuition. For reasons, I explain below, it would bring great, great, net harm.
I received a spam advocating the Dream Act from Mohammad Abdollahi, co-founder of DreamActivist.org. Here are the operative excerpts: "Over the last year we have made great gains fighting for the DREAM Act. We have managed to convince 40 senators and 124 representatives to co-sponsor it... We know you are all ready to fight for three days of escalating action: Mass DREAM Mobilization to show our collective power in demanding the movement of the DREAM Act in congress. Actions include lobbying, graduation ceremony, a DREAM concert, multiple rallies and more."
Here is the letter I wrote in response:
Ultimately, the so-called Dream Act will do more harm than good. Because there are limited slots at prestigious colleges, the "Dream Act" would deny admission to students with higher grades, test scores, English-speaking skills and, in turn, greater potential to solve societal problems. For what purpose? So colleges can admit students with worse grades, test scores, and English-speaking skills? That, of course, would occur because of the defacto reverse-discrimination admission policies, especially at our prestigious universities.
In addition, you will have increased enmity against immigrants among the students and their parents of legal residents (who pay for much of the cost of public AND private universities) who will have been denied admission, for example, to Harvard, Michigan, etc, so that a child of someone in the country illegally could attend--at in-state rates. Imagine how a legal resident of Arizona would feel who applied to Berkeley or UCLA with A grades and 1200 SAT scores--They would likely be rejected in favor of an illegal immigrant with worse grades in a less rigorous curriculum and with lower test scores. And to put salt in the wound, even if that legal resident is admitted, s/he would be forced to pay the exorbitant out-of-state tuition whereas the illegal immigrant would pay in-state tuition.
Think of the anger (perhaps not expressed in public for fear of being labeled a racist) such a policy would engender, in the student, the parents, and all their friends, when they recount the impacts of the "Dream Act." Think of how much resentment toward minorities would increase.
Mohammad, can you not think of a more fruitful cause to advocate for? For example, if you're interested in helping immigrants, why not spearhead an English tutoring program for legal immigrants. My parents are first-generation immigrants and their having perseveringly focused on becoming fluent in English was key to their achieving a measure of success--They ended up making a middle-class living and I grew up in a decent apartment in Flushing, Queens, NY.
I hope you find this letter worth the time I took to write it.
Wishing you well,