The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act
For the first essay in our class, you will develop an argument of evaluation on a subject you chose from the Invention: Generating Evaluative Topics and Process: Developing Your Criteria asignments. This subject should do one of the following:
Evaluate/judge the worth or quality of a singular topic
Compare the relative worth/value of two similar topics, concluding that one is superior in some way to the other
Issues of evaluation arise daily—in the judgments you make about public figures and policies; in the choices you make about instructors and courses; in the recommendations you make about books, films, streamers, or television programs; in the preferences you exercise in choosing products, activities, or charities. Be alert to evaluative arguments whenever you read or use terms that indicate value or rank: good/bad, effective/ineffective, best/worst, competent/incompetent, successful/ unsuccessful. Finally, be aware of your own areas of expertise and interest. Write about subjects or topics about which others regularly ask your opinion or advice, or which you regularly investigate.
In this essay, you will be expected to conduct a small amount of outside research (three sources), but unlike the other essays in the course, you are not yet required to focus heavily on scholarly and peer-reviewed sources. There are still some restrictions, however, primarily that you should not use Wikipedia, WebMD, or similar user-dictated wiki sites. Surveys and polls can be useful in uncovering public attitudes: What books are people reading? Who are the most admired people in the country? What activities or businesses are thriving or waning? You’ll discover that Web sites, newsgroups, and blogs thrive on evaluation. Browse these public forums for ideas, and, when possible, explore your own topic ideas there.
Regardless of the topic you select, you will write this essay in an entirely formal manner, eschewing more casual points of view, slang language, contractions, and formatting that does not align with MLA standards. You will need a clear claim, expressed via your thesis statement, and you will plan the paper using the claim-reason-warrant methodology discussed during class. As such, ample evidence/reasons will be needed to support the claim and illustrate how your topic meets/fails-to-meet your developed criteria.
The essay will be written in paragraph format. The total number of paragraphs will vary from essay to essay, and this decision should be left primarily with how you feel you need to organize your information. You will need to incorporate a strong introduction (single paragraph to begin the essay) that attempts to hook the reader, provide basic background information on the subject, and include your argumentative thesis statement. In addition to this required paragraph, you will also have a paragraph that summarizes and addresses potential opposing viewpoints, using any or all of the approaches covered in class–in that paragraph, you will be expected to incorporate at least one opposing source so as to more specifically identify your opposition. You will also need a conclusion paragraph that summarizes the major points of the argument and identifies its implications. The number of additional body paragraphs in which you present your evidence and discuss your criteria, again, will be determined by you.
Word count of no less than 1000 words. Essays that fall short of this requirement will be penalized relative to how far short of the requirement you are.
Uses at least three credible sources. Look for sources from reputable sites, from our library databases, etc. Sites with an over-abundance of advertisement, with clear bias, and/or outdated information should not be used.
Sources should be incorporated in the text via paraphrase or summary, except for some cases where the precise wording of a source needs to maintained and quoted.
Follows MLA or APA standards for paper formatting and citation, including proper in-text citations and a Works Cited page.
Free of grammatical and formatting errors.
Except in rare cases, no first person point of view. This means you cannot use any singular pronouns that refer to you, the writer. This includes: I, me, my, and mine.
No second person point of view. This means you cannot use any pronouns that directly address the reader. This includes: you, your, yours, yourself, and so on.
No contractions (don’t, can’t, shouldn’t, wouldn’t, and so on). Once you have finished drafting your paper, do a CTRL-F search for apostrophes ( ‘ ); doing so will allow you to find potential contractions and change them to their full word counterparts: wouldn’t becomes would not, shouldn’t becomes should not, and so on.
No irrelevant slang or colloquial language. The words you use in your essay writing should, for the most part, be interpreted literally. Remember that your readers do not necessarily have the same experiences as you, so the language you select should be precise. And again, this paper needs to be written for an academic audience, and because of this, there are expectations for the presentation of your findings and your language.
Some Sample Subjects
Claim that a politician, actor, or sports figure has been good/bad, effective/ineffective, overrated/underrated, etc. (Lebron James is the greatest and/or most influential basketball player in the history of American basketball; pick a political figure and argue they are qualified/unqualified/most qualified/least qualified for their position.)
Claim that one product is a better purchase than products of similar design. (The Toyota Prius is the best green car available on the market today; Android is a superior OS to Apple’s iOS, or vice versa)
Claim that a certain industry (music, education, filmmaking, etc.) is more/less successful than in the past.
Make a claim that evaluates the merits of a particular goal, action, system, or policy. (e.g. assess the College Football Playoff, the DREAM Act, President Trump’s tariff policies, and so on)
The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act
Since the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals (DACA) initiative underwent the unsuccessful rescission in 2017, Congress began to face renewed pressure to pass the Dream Act. This federal legislation would be focussed on protecting vulnerable young immigrants in the face of deportation. There has been a constant public debate on the legislation on whether the legislation should be implemented or not. Nonetheless, the facts of this significant legislation must be clarified to understand its benefits to American society. The DREAM Act is advantageous to the country’s economy, security, and the entire nation. The legislation will establish a lengthy and rigorous process that will ensure the country gets enriched with promising young individuals bred in American society.
Research conducted by Guzman and Jara used the American Community Survey information to calculate the number of eligible unauthorized young persons for the DREAM Act to determine its economic benefits. Their findings would be that its implementation would be an addition of $329 billion to the country’s economy and the creation of 1.4 million employment opportunities by 2030 (1). The research considered various factors, such as education, gender, race, ethnic background, and age. From this research, the legislation demonstrated the potential to boost economic growth and improve its fiscal health (Guzman and Jara, 1).
Furthermore, the DREAM legislation’s eligible population is a greater range of persons compared to those who received DACA El Colegio de la Frontera Norte. Therefore, DACA and its eligible persons’ experiences are a valid starting point to understand its economic potential. At the time of DACA, the beneficiaries underwent constant improvements in better jobs; thus became financially stable. The country would benefit from tax revenues and economic benefits to the localities, states, and the state in entirety. However, DACA provided a temporary status to the individuals. Notably, various economic literature would find that persons who gain permanent status and citizenship tend to grow their productivity, earnings, and economic contributions. It is evident that when Congress passes the DREAM legislation and the eligible persons, especially in the workforce, are promptly availed their legal status: the economic benefits will be remarkably significant. According to Ortega et al., in the short run, many of the unauthorized workers will become more productive, seek better jobs and earn higher salaries considering the trends among the recipients of DACA. in the long run, employers will respond to the increased productivity through increased capital investments that amplify the gains from the legislation. Apart from the economic gains, more individuals will be completing their educational requirements to become highly skilled within their work domains, which benefits them individually and nationally. Notably, the economic benefit that would arise from passing the DREAM legislation cannot be downplayed.
Opponents to the DREAM Act indicate that the legislation is a form of amnesty (Miranda, 2). However, this claim is considered a myth with the facts being that the legislation does require Adjustment of Status applications from young people that are responsible and accountable. The lengthy and rigorous process will ensure that the right persons get legal status and eventual citizenship. Some of the young persons’ requirements include that the individual should have entered the country when they were below 16 years and should prove that they have continuously lived there for a minimum of five years (Miranda, 2). Also, the individual should have graduated from one of the country’s high schools, gained a GED, and will need to demonstrate good moral character with no criminal record. After proving these requirements, they get conditional status, which is reviewed after six years with further qualification requirements to be met. These include having attended college or been in the country’s military for a minimum of two years ago and have no criminal record. The individuals will be responsible for covering all the application fees related to the processing activities undertaken by the U.S Customs and Immigration Offices (Miranda, 2). It is evident that the legislation seeks to grant the right persons the conditional legal status, and any criminal aliens will be barred from any LPR status outlined in the DREAM legislation.
The country is bound to benefit from the legislation which allows undocumented students to serve in the country’s military for at least two years to qualify permanent residency. For a long time, immigrants have been fundamental to the United States military, such that there are over 60000 immigrants registered for active duty currently (Lee, 249). The military is always in need of more military personnel, which is crucial for its foreign policy to defend itself from any intimidation or invasion. Considering the recent conflicts in the Middle East, the country has been facing a challenging time trying to recruit recruits. Therefore, providing an incentive to the undocumented students to work in the country’s military would reduce the workforce burden arising from recruitment shortcomings. Opponents would indicate that encouraging the undocumented students to join the military n order to meet the residency requirements is a little more like hiring mercenaries (Lee, 249).
Nonetheless, the legislation is not focussed on forcing anyone to join the military. It is just providing qualified students with an alternative to going to college or joining the military. Either way, the country seeks to have the best persons who are not a threat to the country or its citizens.
The options given to the undocumented students of either joining the military, attending college or have steady employment will benefit the country from pursuing activities with negative impacts on society (Lee, 250). For instance, the national high school dropout rate for Hispanic students is 10%, which is higher than the national average. Many dropouts with no prospect of a college education or a career path end up joining street gangs hence increasing the federal and local public safety expenses. The criminal justice system has increased financial burdens resulting from prosecuting and detaining the convicted undocumented immigrants. Suppose the government takes the ultimate responsibility of dealing with undocumented prisoners,why dont they spend the same amounts in trying to hinder the students from joining a life of crime in the future (Lee, 250). The DREAM Act will prevent negative social costs and have the country gain even further benefits from the individuals.
Conclusively, the DREAM act may have its shortcomings but must be passed by Congress due to its many benefits. While the legislation itself will not handle all the challenges related to illegal immigration, nor will it alter all undocumented immigrants’ lives, its passage and implementation is a valid starting point to addressing the illegal immigration challenge. The principal argument against the DREAM Act has been that it will be rewarding and creating incentives for illegal immigrants. Nonetheless, this claim has depended on the wrong assumption that the legislation is for all undocumented immigrants. In reality, the legislation is only for a particular group of undocumented students motivated and have successfully fulfilled the specified requirements.
El Colegio de la Frontera Norte. “The Economic Benefits of Passing the DREAM Act.” Observatorio De Legislación Migratoria, 22 2012, observatoriocolef.org/articulos/the-economic-benefits-of-passing-the-dream-act/.
Guzman, Juan Carlos, and Raul C. Jara. “The economic benefits of passing the DREAM Act.” Center for American Progress 28 (2012).
Lee, Youngro. “To dream or not to dream: A cost-benefit analysis of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.” Cornell JL & Pub. Pol’y 16 (2006): 231.
Miranda, Luis. “The Dream Act: Good for our economy, good for our security, good for our nation.” The White House 1 (2010).
Ortega, Francesc, et al. “The Economic Benefits of Passing the Dream Act.” Center for American Progress, 18 Sept. 2017, www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/reports/2017/09/18/439134/economic-benefits-passing-dream-act/.