Arthur Mkoyan, a 17-year-old Fresno teen, came to the United States with his parents when they fled the Soviet Union 15 years ago. They sought asylum in the United States. It was never granted an. Two weeks ago, Mkyoan, a 4.0 Fresno high school valedictiorian was scheduled to be deported. He was an illegal immigrant although he hadn’t seen his “home” country of Armenia since he was 2.
Wouldn’t it be better for the United States if a kid like Mkoyan was able to stay here, enroll in a university and then become a citizen than to just kick him out of the country? Doesn’t the United States need overachievers and people who will work hard just to get ahead?
This is what Sac Bee columnist Peter Schrag wrote:
Mkoyan is one of the emblems – there are thousands of others – of a self-defeating immigration policy that prefers to deport talented young people at a time when the nation faces a desperate need of skilled workers to replace the millions of baby boomers who are about to retire.
This is why Congress should have passed the DREAM Act in 2007.
The DREAM Act is aimed at giving citizenship to the following (taken from Wikipedia):
- Proof of having arrived in the United States at age 15 or younger.
- Proof of residence in the United States for a least five (5) consecutive years since their date of arrival.
- Must be between the ages of 12 and 30 at time of bill enactment.
- Having graduated from an American high school, or obtained a GED.
- “Good moral character,” essentially defined as the absence of a significant criminal record (or any major drug charges), compliance with Selective Service laws and an absence of fraudulent information in documents.
These students would then have the opportunity to apply for citizenship after completing several educational goals.
On a personal note, one of my brightest students came up to me and confessed that she was worried that she wouldn’t be able to get into a university because of this exact issue. She’s the type of student that would help this country in the future. And she might be right about her situation. She works harder than any of my so-called “legal” students.
On to the campaign.
The funny thing is that we don’t hear anything about McCain flip-flopping on this issue when, in fact, it’s probably the biggest flip-flop in presidential campaign history.
McCain co-sponsored three versions of the DREAM Act. Then he decided that he wanted to run for president. Suddenly, he opposed this piece of legislation because there would be no way for him to earn the Republican nomination if he supported a bill that helped undocumented immigrants. So McCain fled Washington and didn’t vote to end cloture on the bill when it was caught up in a filibuster.
McCain said he knows that Republicans are more concerned about border security:
“I will secure the borders before we do anything else,” McCain said. “The borders have to be secured. I got the message. Got it.”
That sounds like a “say anything, do anything to get elected” attitude, right?
Guess who was another co-sponsor of the DREAM Act. That’s right, Barack Obama. This is what he said when it failed to make it to the Senate floor for a vote:
We need comprehensive immigration reform in this country – reform that promotes our national and economic security and creates a pathway to earned citizenship for the 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country. We should not punish undocumented children who were brought to this country illegally through no choice of their own by keeping them in the shadows. The DREAM Act would have given these young people the opportunity to earn a degree or serve in our military, and eventually become legalized citizens. Failing to pass the DREAM Act only compounds the immigration crisis by continuing to drive thousands of young people every year into hiding.
And guess who still supports the DREAM Act. Right, Barack Obama. Here’s Obama talking about it during a debate (at 3:40):
I know all the conservative arguments why undocumented immigrants shouldn’t be allowed to enroll into American colleges. I think they are too lame to repeat here. All I want to say is that for the party that claims to support Christian values, it’s really missing the mark on one of Christ’s most important teachings:
- “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne,/and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats./He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left./Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world./For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,/naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’/Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?/When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?/When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’/And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
But of course, the conservative party doesn’t support these Christian values. Obama’s support of the DREAM Act is one of the main reasons I’ll be voting for him come November.