Since June 15, immigrants have been eager to take full advantage of Obama’s DREAM Act. Anyone under 31 can now have a two-year reprieve, allowing them to stay in the country that they were born in. 1.7 million immigrants were eligible for deferrals. But now that the Act is becoming a reality, what documentation will immigrants receive? Even more importantly, will politicians find loopholes to the Act itself?
According to the New York Times, tens of thousands of illegal immigrants were present, waiting in long lines after applications had only been made available the night before. The line wound down piers, and people flooded into churches and law offices in major cities.
But what exactly were they waiting for? Young immigrants were wary. Somehow the program doesn’t seem real. After this long process of waiting, they aren’t given a proven legal immigration status, like a green card. In fact, it seems like it may be a seven step process for immigrants before they are approved for temporary documentation. However, they all still wait in the hope that something positive will come of it.
While the hype is there, immigrants will most likely have to wait much longer. Because the applications were only made available the day prior, most people who were standing in line were simply asking for guidance and more paperwork.
Democrats are clapping their hands in approval. And, of course, Senator Richard J. Durbin is the most excited. He originally wrote the DREAM Act 11 years ago, so he’s thrilled to see it in action. He’s even called this event a “moral force.”
However, there are many foreseen challenges to this Act. Arizona’s Governor, Jan Brewer has just barred all immigrants against obtaining a driver’s license in her state. Republicans are strongly criticizing the Act in general, saying that deportation deferrals are a form of backdoor amnesty for law breakers.
Yet, it seems like Brewer and Republicans may be in a minority of their own. Just earlier this month, the Huffington Post reported that politicians in Nevada, New Mexico and most of the southwest are in complete support of the Act. The Homeland Security Department has even stopped deporting undocumented immigrants. Not only will the DREAM Act help the politicians to win in the fall, it will also give hope to many young American immigrant students.
So while Brewer tries to find ways around it, and Nevada’s Dean Heller has called it the “Band-Aid” Act, it truly looks like the solution that immigrants have been looking for (even if they may have to wait a while.) It may be so daunting to them at the moment because it is a dream after all, now becoming a reality.