Is the DREAM Act a Military Recruiter’s Dream, too?

By Michelle Chen May 20, 2010

Activists across the country have rallied around the DREAM Act as a first step toward comprehensive immigration reform. The DREAM Act, which broadens undocumented youths’ access to higher education, basically granting conditional relief to enable students to finish their degrees, is framed as a "noncontroversial" concept that rational people, even conservative-leaning folks, would find hard to oppose on moral grounds. In fact, even the Pentagon is a big fan, according to a documentary recently featured on Democracy Now!. Really. In Yo Soy El Army, media activist Marco Amador looks at the backstory behind the DREAM Act in his exploration of the Pentagon’s predation on Latino communities. While the DREAM Act has inspired bold activism led by educators and students, its status as a pillar of the immigration reform movement is somewhat undercut, the film suggests, by the taint of the military recruitment machine. Specifically, the bill contains a provision that offers military service as an option, alongside higher education, as a "path to citizenship."