Op-Ed by HNBA President, Diana S. Sen
At a very young age, children realize that America is the Land of Opportunity. With hard work and determination, anything they dream is possible. Unfortunately, an increasing number of children may not realize their American Dream. As Americans, we at the Hispanic National Bar Association are committed to the rule of law rooted in fairness and justice. We do not hold children responsible for the acts of their parents; particularly as these children strive for excellence, and show profound love and commitment to our Nation’s greatness. We believe our Nation should give our children opportunity, not deny it.
The DREAM Act provides that opportunity with a 10 year path to lawful permanent residency status. The Act is a first, but critical, opportunity for those who wish to serve our Nation’s military and attend higher education. What could be more American than love of Country through military service and dedicated study? It is therefore not surprising that the DREAM Act enjoys bi-partisan support.
The DREAM Act is NOT amnesty or a free handout. Only future citizens who meet strict requirements can take advantage of the precious opportunity it offers. A study by researchers at UCLA shows that income generated from DREAM Act residents and potential future citizens would contribute approximately $3.6 trillion over the next 40 years, a win-win proposition for all.
On December 8, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives courageously passed the DREAM Act, reaffirming the age old truth, that Americans are not just those who were born in the United States, but those who embody the American spirit. The Hispanic National Bar Association calls on the Senate to do the same. The Latino community has played a critical role in our Country’s history. We have waited ten years for DREAM Act legislation and we will pay close attention to the vote in the Senate, fully confident that the Senate will not fail to Act now.
Hispanic National Bar Association