We live in a city where even the Salvation Army discriminates against kids it feels aren't born under the right circumstances by denying U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants — i.e., American citizens — the ability to participate in the Angel Tree Program. (Yes, still. Again. They say "Serving children newborn to 12 years of age," but they mean "Serving some children newborn to 12 years of age.") We live in a state where legislators have expressed glee at the idea of not issuing birth certificates to children of illegal immigrants and finding ways to repeal the 14th Amendment.
When it comes to picking on children who are U.S. citizens if we don't like their parents, there is no bridge too far for us.
So when it comes to kids who were brought here illegally by their parents, I honestly don't have high hopes of folks having mercy on them.
Still, it is important for people who have always known this country as their home to have a path to stay here legally. Many folks are under the mistaken impression that such a way already exists — that joining the military is a path to citizenship for young people who were brought into the country illegally. This is not the case. Even if your parents brought you here when you were three months old, even if you speak no other language than English and do so with a Tennessee accent, and even if all you want is to stay in this country that you love but to be able to come out of hiding to do so, there is no way.
The immigration system in this country is a mess, to put it lightly, and it needs massive, massive reform. The DREAM Act is not a cure-all, by any means, but it does clean up one part of the mess — it gives people who have only known this country as their country a means to make that official.
The House is going to try to push the DREAM Act through right after Thanksgiving. If it passes before the end of the year, it would be a great present for a lot of folks.