I think there’s a way to revive the Dream Act in 2011: Link citizenship only to military service, which Americans see as a sacrifice, dropping the link to college attendance, which most see as a subsidized benefit to the individual.
Two years of college enrollment, with no degree required, doesn’t guarantee a productive citizen. Anyone can enroll in community college, if only to take remedial classes. (Only 22 percent of full-time students earn a two-year degree in three years.) It’s much harder to qualify for the military.
As veterans, the newly legalized could use their GI benefits to pursue a college degree. I think most Americans would be happy to welcome them to citizenship.
For those who object to rewarding illegal behavior (and count me among them), this comment from Joanne strikes me as reasonable:
What say you?
I’d argue that children brought here by their parents are not guilty of “criminal behavior.”
The ones who’d qualify for military service — high school graduates with clean records — will make good Americans.