The US military says it has met its recruitment goals for 2007. However, signing new soldiers is getting more difficult. New figures reveal there has been a 40 percent drop in African-Americans signing up for the army.
Watch the lies they are telling our kids. As one of the put it, “there is peer pressure and there is army pressure.”
There is a movement to have the DREAM Act pass. However, after much soul searching, I simply cannot send any more people in harms way knowing that the conditions of our Latino schooling will make military enlistment the only “choice” for our undocumented youth because in predominantly Latino high schools, military recruiters outnumber college representatives five to one. How can we overlook the amount of evidence about the misleading tactics military recruiters use to trick Latino youth to enlist. This decision is a decision of the head and the heart, reason and compassion, and it is not a decision taken lightly.
I understand that the military provision has been included since 2001 and that the military has had their hand in all the education bills, but why can’t we finally be different and make a stand. And if we know there are all these faults, why do we always have to settle for less?
According to the Department of Defense, 750,000 youths who benefit from the DREAM Act. However, the current high school dropout rate among undocumented immigrants is 50 percent. Therefore, that would mean, half of them are already unqualified, which now brings that number to roughly 350,000 undocumented immigrants who entered the United States before age 16 and graduated from high school would qualify.
Since not all high school graduates will go on to college according to a study conducted by RAND because they found that roughly half of those students were “very likely to serve in the Armed Forces.” So we are now left with roughly about 25% of the original 100%, which means roughly 187,500 undocumented immigrants would choose college over the military option.
Of those 25%, not everybody will automatically get to adjust from conditional to permanent legal resident status, they still have graduate from a two-year college or complete two years of a four-year degree before they can qualify baring any hurdles placed by the Sec of Education and their respective state. The current dropout rate during the first two years in college for immigrant students is between 50 to 68 percent.
In the end, roughly 60,000 to 93,750 undocumented immigrants will able to adjust from conditional to permanent legal resident status. But what about the others? Where will those students end up? Dead on the battlefield in Iraq or Afghanistan? Adding more to the over 600,000 dead Iraqis? Can we live with this?
What concerns me is the message that is being put out regarding pro-immigrant anti-war people. If we do not support the DREAM Act, we must be anti-immigration and this is a totally erroneous assumption. I am willing to do my part and join the struggle to get the DREAM Act if it is being pushed without the military provisions, but it is not.
The DREAM Act’s education component is a wonderful dream and one that I share those in favor of the DREAM Act, but as it stands, the only DREAM that is really being accomplished is the military’s DREAM.