President Obama’s landmark immigration reform bill, called the Dream Act, had its first birthday on August 15th, 2013. It has been a whole year since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ACT allowed young illegal immigrants to be legalized, and the world has not ended. DACA even survived the end of the Mayan calendar, as did the United States and the rest of the world. Yet here we sit, still awaiting meaningful change to the immigration laws in this country. While many young immigrants took advantage of this window, gaining legal status for a few years as the federal government and state governments wrestle with the issue of immigration reform, there are still millions of people inside the border who have no idea what is going to become of them.
Over the past year, as 400,000 new young Americans settled into the idea that they are truly Americans, or will truly become Americans, millions more people have longed for the same opportunity. Many of them are illegally in the country now, otherwise law-abiding citizens looking to partake of the opportunities that America has promised the downtrodden abroad for centuries. People who have made their way across the border, one way or another, and who have remained in the country, locked in limbo until immigration issues are worked out. Millions more people abroad long to be welcomed by the shores and the government of the United States. They want to be a part of the next generation of immigrants that help further the greatness of the United States of America.
These people are trying to gain access and citizenship to the United States through various legal channels. Either path to citizenship is blocked by a myriad of roadblocks, an endless maze of red tape that would have made the forefathers want to pick up muskets. The fact is, it is extremely hard, in many cases, nearly impossible to become a legal citizen of the United States if you are not born here in this day and age. As America deals with a struggling economy, one of the worst in history, and an endless array of wars and occupations abroad, the country has become a political hotbed, with people lining up on both sides of the aisle trying to devise solutions to the many problems that the country faces, and immigration is not the highest priority on that list.
Now, an imminent decision on whether or not the U.S. Should take military action against Syria could make the obstacle course known as immigration even tougher. During times of war, border security tightens, and the wary eyes of the government that scrutinize immigrants become even sharper. With no idea how this conflict could escalate, or in regards to the ramifications this could cause the United States from other factions around the globe, gaining U.S. Citizenship is about to become harder than ever. Wars cost money, and this nation is already broke, plus other resources will be required for any action against Syria as well. In the meantime, immigrants will have to bide their time and continue to wait, something they have become good at, as immigration reform takes a back seat to foreign policy once again.