Investing in Children Through Education and Early Childhood Care Reading Response (Week 9) My reading response focus is on the policy brief ? The Future of Immigrant Children? by authors Ron Haskins and Marta Tienda. The Latino population in the US accounts for a huge percentage of schoolchildren and many of these children are falling behind in school. Being bi-lingual creates a learning barrier that puts Latino children behind other racial groups in terms of academic achievement.
There is a low educational achievement among immigrant children, which can be addressed with policy changes that would increase preschool attendance, improve teaching in English and increase their attendance at post secondary level of education. These policy changes aims to improve achievement of Latino children, which would ultimately lead to increased social and economical mobility and also productivity on a national level.
Individual socio-economic mobility and national productivity are two main concepts that make it important to close the achievement between immigrant children and other racial groups. Through educational opportunities there is a chance for immigrant children to escape a life of poverty. These concepts are similar in the fact that they both reflect the American value of individualism and work ethic. The belief that education can increase human capital of young immigrants and allow them to ove from a lower socio-economic status to a higher one makes the argument for policy reform very important.
National productivity connects to the idea of demographic dividend for the aging population because there is a large population of young Latino immigrants, who if educated up to post secondary level could potentially be high-income earners that could contribute to funds like Medicare and Social Security. These concepts differ in the sense that socio-economic mobility promotes individualism, while national productivity promotes collectivism.
Individualism in the sense that it targets what immigrant children can achieve for himself or herself in terms of employment that leads to a better social outcomes. Collectivism promotes being a part of the whole in the sense that as a productive member of society there are expectations like working and paying your share of taxes both on the federal and state levels that benefits the country. The Dream Act which would give immigrant children an opportunity for higher education has been hotly debated and it connects to the idea of who is deserving or not.
Arguments that children who were brought into the US by their parents should be given a chance points to the deservingness theory, because these children are in the US through no fault on their part. If we are to follow the welfare policy narrative about immigrants and who is here illegally and whether they deserve a chance we overlook the potential to solve the bigger issue of child poverty in general, because a large population of children living below federal poverty level are Latino immigrant children. Major arguments around the Dream Act, is that it is rewarding criminal behavior.
According to Haskins and Tienda (2011) it would grant amnesty, cost taxpayers a lot and also deprive legal citizens educational benefits. (p. 6). The argument negates the fact that many of these immigrants are hardworking members of the society and they are also paying taxes even though they are here illegally. The idea that the dream act will only encourage more illegal is fear mongering and plays into the narrative about immigrants coming in and taking our jobs, while it? s the same jobs like housecleaning and gardening that nobody wants to do. These jobs by the way contribute in a big way to the American economy.
A study conducted in 2011 by institute of Taxation and Economic Policy, found that undocumented immigrants paid $11. 2 Billion in state and local taxes in 2010 contributing a significant amount to help state and local finances, considering the fact that many undocumented immigrant are barred from using social services, they are contributing to services they can? t even use. So it is ignorant to pretend that the Dream Act is giving immigrant children a pass when their families have been contributing to national productivity, which there is data that shows they are.
According to Notre Dame Economists Juan Carlos Guzman and Raul Jara (2013) the US as a whole would benefit to the tune of $339 Billion by 2030 if the Dream Act were passed. (p. 5). This is because dreamers will be legal, which will allow them to make higher wages and they fact that they are required to complete high school and some college or military also translates to higher pay which ultimately helps the economy. The Dream Act does not only benefit illegal immigrant children and their families, it benefits the US as a whole and not passing it will continue to perpetuate poverty for Latino families which also affects the country.