Pontential Dream Act Effects

Posted: July 8, 2010 in Illegal Immigration, Military in AZ

The Dream Act, a new law being considered, would allow over 100,000 young illegal immigrants in AZ attain citizenship by either going to college or serving in the military.  Here’s a local online article about it.  http://bit.ly/aikgKf 

This act is meant to help the millions of kids brought over illegally by their parents, who have lived in the US the majority of their lives and culturally identify themselves as Americans.  I mean, imagine being brought into the US at age 2, being raised here and then getting deported back to Mexico, a country of which you haven’t a single memory.  That would be a nightmare.

I think the college idea is a great….any opportunity to improve social mobility is a win-win. But the military?  For some reason, I’m uncomfortable with the idea.  First because these kids were dragged here, most likely under very dangerous circumstances in the first place by their parents….many of their lives have already been risked to come to the US (albeit without their consent). 

Second, as a country, are our motives clean?  Truth is, we need more people to join up….we have too many wars and too many national guard and reserve troops being treated as if they were a permanent standing force.   Extended wars mean you either force the “citizen soldiers” to fill in (with all the problems that stem from that and which we’ve been doing for 8 long years now) or we start up a Draft.  Now, I’m no fan of the Draft….and I don’t want to imply that I am. 

I think what’s causing this discomfort is that we as a nation, have not really felt the pain of fighting the wars…..Let me break it down.

  • too few citizens have borne the brunt of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, our national guard and reserves, which let’s face it, affects a narrow band of socioeconomic strata, meaning the middle class (as does relying on the full-time soldiers tends to affect a limited socioeconomic strata, typically the lower classes).  And you sure as hell won’t see very many of the “1 percenters”  or Congress Members’ kids in the fight.  If the children of the rich serve at all, they serve in very “safe” ways.
  • As a country we’ve hardly felt the economic pinch of financing the wars…Bush and company didn’t even include it in the budget.   Once Pres. Obama did, deficit hawks have started crying about it, but very few of these hawks are really sincere about paying for it. The same hawks demanding we cut spending were the ones who  supported going into the wars in the first place and they were the same ones who put off funding it until now anyway!
  • You can’t bitch about not paying a deficit caused by war by continuing to pursue that same war.  The spending is only going to increase until we actually start to withdraw…that’s just plain logic.
  • Many on the left, my own progressives, don’t want to sacrifice either.  They are already screaming about cut backs to control deficit spending.  I agree that doing so during  a Recession is not the proper response–the govt must spend in order to get us out of this economic downturn. But eventually, we on the left will have to be serious and engage in real compromise if we’re to get the long term deficit under control.  And we will all feel the pinch. That’s just the way it is.
  • Finally, with all this pressure that we feel as a nation to fight these wars, find a way to finance it and find a way to staff it…can we really claim that our motives for sending these young men and women into harms way are clear?  When the majority of our existing citizens won’t volunteer to do it themselves and refuse to sacrifice in any way?

It just reeks to me.  Tell me I”m wrong….I’d love to be wrong.

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