The Dream Act

In: Historical Events

Submitted By bobito23
Words 4357
Pages 18
Rob Williams
Prof. Williamson
Social Movements
17 December 2013
When considering social movements, we think about a social or political development aimed at advancing a group of people or organization whose significance lies in their uniqueness. This advancement is not a literal, physical progression, but rather a symbolic movement with the intent to foster support and progress past some deeply imbedded issues. Today in the United States, we are at the center of attention for a social movement that is quite literally, a physical movement. Illegal immigration from Mexico and South American countries continues to be one of the most controversial and debated matters of public policy. The United States allows for an annual limit of roughly 675,0001 immigrants to legally enter our borders, which is extremely conservative relative to other countries. This very limited number forces the majority of immigrants from south of the border to either enter completely illegally, or overstay a temporary work visa issued by our government. While dealing with these illegal aliens serves to be a contentious problem by itself, an even more pressing issue rises to the surface when debating the rights of their children. Thomas Humphrey Marshall described the evolution of citizenship from civil, to political, and finally to social. This idea of social citizenship explained the governmental rights that citizens were guaranteed, “to live the life of a civilized being.”2 The two institutions “most closely connected with it are the educational system and social services.”2 Although speaking about Great Britain in the 18th, 19th, and 20th century, Marshall’s points on citizenship, specifically with regards to what he calls social citizenship, are very relevant to the children of illegal immigrants in the United States today. There is very little debate that immigrants…...

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