On the other hand, this letter to the editor of the Times-Picayune made me proud of being a product of the Jesuits. It's also one of the reasons why, even though I consider myself an Exodus Catholic, I don't break completely with my Church and my faith:
Every year approximately 65,000 young people graduate from high school in the United States but are unable to go to college, work or join the military because their parents brought them to the country as children without legal documents. Their lack of legal status prevents them from pursuing their dreams and their full human potential and from making vital contributions to the well-being of our nation.I will say, too, that if Cao really does shepherd the DREAM Act through Congress during its lame duck session, and if he really does exercise leadership on this matter in any event, that in and of itself will go quite a long way to redeeming him in my eyes.
The DREAM Act is commonsense legislation that would remedy this. To move from being undocumented to being a U.S. citizen, eligible young people would be required to pass rigorous background checks, be of good moral character, graduate from high school, then go on to attend college or serve in the military for at least two years. Approximately 800,000 young people would be able to meet the requirements of the DREAM Act, including about 800 Louisianans.
No matter what one's views on fixing our country's broken immigration system, why would we want to punish children for the actions of their parents? Many of these young people know no other home than the United States.
As the president of a university committed to providing young people the education and formation experiences that allow them to realize their God-given potential, I find it very unfortunate to deny opportunity to talented, intelligent and dedicated students who only know the United States as their home.
Finally, I would like to thank Congressman Joseph Cao for taking a leadership position on this bill by becoming a co-sponsor of this legislation.
In preparation for an upcoming vote on this legislation, I urge your readers to contact members of the Louisiana delegation to support this vital piece of legislation that could bring hope and dignity to so many deserving young people.
Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D.