— Together We Can Make Dreams Come True — Sept. Synchroblog: Christianity And The Immigration Issue

As Christians we have a duty to care for and protect children. We are warned to be careful in our treatment of children and challenged to see them as whole persons created in the image of God.  And so, as we ponder the Immigration Issue, one thing we must consider is the way our laws and policies impact immigrant children.

She was brought to the US when she was only 3 years old, today she is 17, a gifted student with a 4.3 GPA who will graduate in the top 10% of her class in 2011 … but she can’t get a drivers license or a job or make college plans or join the military – she has no hope of her dreams coming true. She is an illegal immigrant through no fault of her own.

More than 3 million students graduate from high school in the U.S. each year.  Most have the opportunity to pursue their dreams, but there is a group of youth (more than 60,000) who are much less fortunate because they have inherited the label of illegal immigrant.  These young people have lived most of their lives in the United States, most have no connection or personal knowledge of another country, and are culturally American.  No matter how smart, well behaved and hard working this group of young people are, they are caught in a system that offers little or no way for them to legalize their status and pursue their dreams.  Even if they are accepted by one of the higher education institutions that accept illegal immigrants, they are faced with having to pay out of state tuition rates which usually end up being too costly since they do not qualify for any financial aid. The result is a higher rate of teens dropping out of school, a higher rate of teens involved in criminal activity and a higher rate of teen suicides.

The DREAM Act could change all of that if it was passed.

The Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act, also called the DREAM Act, would provide certain undocumented students, who were brought to the United States by their parents and have continuously resided in this country from a young age, conditional residency and a pathway to citizenship, provided they finish high school or earn a GED, and go on to college or the military.  Once they are proven to qualify for the program they are given 6 years to obtain a 2 year college degree or complete 2 years of military service.  Upon completion of one of these goals they will be given the opportunity to change their conditional permanent residency to U.S. Citizenship.

To find out more about the DREAM Act and how to support it go here.

Together we can make dreams come true.

This post is part of a Synchroblog, where a group of bloggers post on the same topic on the same day, so that people can surf from one to the other and get different views on the same basic topic. You will find links to the other synchroblog posts below.

Jonathan Brink – Immigration Synchroblog

Mike Victorino at Still A Night Owl – Being the Flag

Liz Dyer at Grace Rules – Together We Can Make Dreams Come True

Sonnie Swentson-Forbes at Hey Sonnie – Immigration Stories

Matt Stone at Glocal Christianity – Is Xenophobia Ever Christlike?

Kathy Escobar at the carnival in my head – it’s a lot easier to be against immigration when you have papers

Steve Hayes at Khanya – Christians and the Immigration Issue

Ellen Haroutunian – Give Me Your Tired

Bethany Stedman – Choosing Love Instead of Fear

Pete Houston at Peter’s Progress – Of Rape and Refuge and  Eyes Wide Shut

Joshua Seek – Loving Our Immigrant Brother

Amanda MacInnis at Cheese Wearing Theology – Christians and Immigration

Sonja Andrews at Calacirian – You’re Absolutely Right

Peter Walker – Synchroblog – Immigration Reform

Steven Calascione at Eirenikos – The Jealousy of Migration

George Elerick at The Love Revolution – We’re Not Kings or Gods

Beth Patterson at Virtual Tea House – What we resist not only persists but will eventually become our landlord

K. W. Leslie at The Evening of Kent – On American Immigration

Jeff Goins at Pilgrimage Of The Heart – When The Immigration Issue Gets Personal

Kathy Baldock at CanyonWalker Connections – My Visit To A Mosque, Now What?

29 thoughts on “— Together We Can Make Dreams Come True — Sept. Synchroblog: Christianity And The Immigration Issue

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  2. Pingback: Immigration Reform – Yes, No, Don’t Care « Godspace

  3. kathyescobar

    liz – thanks so much for sharing this. i also didn’t know about the dream act and will definitely look into it more. this is a great example to me where the need for advocacy is so important, someone with voice & margin to really stand alongside these kids and families and make sure the hoops get jumped through to really have the opportunities they deserve but are maybe afraid or unable to pursue. i am so glad you touched upon this from this angle, this is why i love the synchroblogs. peace to you. i am so thankful for your voice and heart out here.

  4. Mike

    Liz ~ Thanks for the visit and the wonderful comments. I am also glad we have connected and have added you to my blogroll. I am excited to hear about the DREAM program and the possibilities that it has for giving someone a chance that they might not otherwise had. After reading Sonja’s post, I often wonder how much of this behavior can be contributed to “society”??

    Wonderful to meet you

  5. Pingback: Beth Patterson : What we resist not only persists but will eventually become our landlord

  6. Beth Patterson

    Thanks for the great post! I had thought about it, as I have a friend who has befriended a family from Mexico, tutoring the mother in her language skills, mentoring the children, and now seeing the children grow up and not have the opportunity to stay in what is the only country they know.

    Thank you for telling us more about the DREAM Act–I will definitely explore it more.

    You always hit it right square on!

    1. Liz Post author

      Beth – Thank you so much for the compliment! And thank you so much for posting the links to the synchroblog! And thanks for participating – I’m headed to your blog right now to go and read your post.

    1. Liz Post author

      Thanks, Peter. Like I said to Bethany – I felt the same way when I first learned of these facts. One of the problems is that the DREAM Act is part of a larger immigration reform bill and there seems to be some resistance in pulling it out as a separate piece of legislation. As I understand it, if it remains in the larger bill it helps sell the bill – the problem is that the larger bill probably won’t get passed anytime soon. Further I understand that we need to call our senators and also Sen Harry Reid, the majority leader, and ask them to make the DREAM Act come up for a vote. Here’s a link to some info http://www.thedreamiscoming.com/take-action/

  7. Pingback: Teflon Christians, Refugees and an Invitation to a Christ-like Humanity | Peter's Progress

  8. Pingback: Of Rape and Refuge | Peter's Progress

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