And the choice here is not between the presence of these young immigrants and their absence. No one is proposing the mass deportation of this particular group, which would be last on the target list of even the most enthusiastic immigration restrictionist. The actual choice is between allowing these young men and women to develop their talents and serve in the military, or not.
Whatever its legislative fate, the DREAM Act is effective at stripping away pretense. Opponents of this law don’t want earned citizenship for any illegal immigrant — even those personally guilty of no crime, even those who demonstrate their skills and character. The DREAM Act would be a potent incentive for assimilation. But for some, assimilation clearly is not the goal. They have no intention of sharing the honor of citizenship with anyone called illegal — even those who came as children, have grown up as neighbors and would be willing to give their lives in the nation’s cause.