From the Fort Worth Star Telegram:
College shouldn't be difficult for Joaquin, who mastered Advanced Placement classes in a language he learned only four years ago and recently graduated 12th in his high school class.
But paying for it will be. The 19-year-old is an undocumented immigrant. He doesn't qualify for federal financial aid, which makes up 90 percent of the average Texas college student's aid package...
Congress is considering the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, which would make some undocumented immigrant students eligible for federal loans, but not grants. The bill would make students who immigrated here five or more years ago at the age of 15 or younger eligible for legal status and federal loans...
In January 2000, he trekked 26 hours across a desert from Mexico with about 50 others to join his father, who was living in North Texas and performing odd jobs. His mother and sister came separately. The family said they paid a smuggler $1,800 each to get them across the border...
Here's a draft of the letter I'm sending to Rex Seline, Managing Editor/News (817-390-7729 firstname.lastname@example.org). Please send your own version.
I've seen several "news reports" very similar to this advocacy piece in other publications. They invariably feature one or two bright illegal aliens who are presented in the most sympathetic light possible. All of the upsides of the DREAM Act are presented, with few of the downsides. If you did a search, you might be surprised. It's almost as if they were all following the same template.
In any case, I'd like to suggest that you break new ground and cover the DREAM Act from a different perspective.
In a future article, could you cover someone who would be negatively impacted by the DREAM Act?
There are only a finite number of colleges, and only a finite amount of money available for discounted college educations. Joaquin (from the "news report") will be in competition with U.S. citizens for those finite discounted college educations.
What that means is there's a good chance that Joaquin will get a discounted college education, and a U.S. citizen will not. For instance, let's assume that there are just 1000 discounted college educations available, that there are 1001 applicants, and that 1000 of of those applicants are U.S. citizens but the 1001st is Joaquin. If Joaquin gets a discounted college education, that means that one of those 1000 U.S. citizens will not.
In other words, there's a good chance that Joaquin - an illegal alien and a citizen of Mexico - will take a discounted college education away from a United States citizen.
Perhaps you could find a citizen who might lose out to an illegal alien and do a sympathetic portrait/advocacy piece on them.
Also, you might want to ask why a) Joaquin can't go to Mexico for a college education, and b) why Mexico apparently is unable to offer him one.
I'll give you credit for including a dissenting voice in the "news report." In a future article perhaps you'll go into more depth on the effect if the DREAM Act passes. Won't that encourage even more illegal aliens to come here with their children to take advantage of the DREAM Act or a similar bill? And, as time goes on, won't those new illegal immigrants take even more discounted college educations away from U.S. citizens?
Also, please give a quick look to this older article: "Eighty-six percent of those surveyed for the Scripps Howard Texas Poll released Saturday said illegal immigration is a very serious or somewhat serious problem..."
I look forward to your next article on this topic.
Immigration2003 · Wed, 06/30/2004 - 08:06 · Importance: 1