The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Editorials

August 11, 2013

Moral reasons support Dream Act

Allowing citizenship would add $2 billion to economy

Nine young men and women whose parents brought them to the United States as children without proper documentation were arrested last month after staging a bold protest. By traveling to Mexico and then trying to legally re-enter the United States, they hoped to highlight the plight of an estimated 1.7 million young immigrants who also came to the U.S. as children — and to press for passage of the Dream Act, which would offer them a conditional pathway to citizenship.

The nine protesters took a huge risk. They might not have been allowed back into the United States; as it was, they were held for the better part of a week in an Arizona detention center while the government figured out what to do with them. But federal officials agreed to allow their cases to go before an immigration judge, who will decide whether they should be granted asylum.

Surely, deporting them will serve no purpose. They, like other so-called Dreamers, merely want to make a life in the only country they have known as home. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that if all 1.7 million were permitted to participate in the U.S. economy, it would result in revenue of more than $2 billion annually, mainly from income and corporate taxes paid by the newly legalized workers.

Preventing these young people from gaining legal status won’t help deter illegal immigration. All it will do is punish them for the deeds of their parents.

There are plenty of moral and economic reasons for Republicans to support the Dream Act, if they could briefly put partisanship and ideology aside. — LA Times

Keeping secrets secret: Are you at risk?

Even before former National Security Agency consultant Edward Snowden exposed the breathtaking extent of the intelligence agency’s electronic surveillance programs, civil libertarians worried that information obtained as part of anti-terrorism investigations might find its way to the criminal justice system and that Americans would be tried and convicted on evidence obtained without warrants, in violation of the 4th Amendment.

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