an unanticipated consequence of
Jack M. Balkin
Jack Balkin: jackbalkin at yahoo.com
Bruce Ackerman bruce.ackerman at yale.edu
Ian Ayres ian.ayres at yale.edu
Mary Dudziak mary.l.dudziak at emory.edu
Joey Fishkin joey.fishkin at gmail.com
Heather Gerken heather.gerken at yale.edu
Abbe Gluck abbe.gluck at yale.edu
Mark Graber mgraber at law.umaryland.edu
Stephen Griffin sgriffin at tulane.edu
Bernard Harcourt harcourt at uchicago.edu
Scott Horton shorto at law.columbia.edu
Andrew Koppelman akoppelman at law.northwestern.edu
Marty Lederman msl46 at law.georgetown.edu
Sanford Levinson slevinson at law.utexas.edu
David Luban david.luban at gmail.com
Gerard Magliocca gmaglioc at iupui.edu
Jason Mazzone mazzonej at illinois.edu
Linda McClain lmcclain at bu.edu
John Mikhail mikhail at law.georgetown.edu
Frank Pasquale pasquale.frank at gmail.com
Nate Persily npersily at gmail.com
Michael Stokes Paulsen michaelstokespaulsen at gmail.com
Deborah Pearlstein dpearlst at princeton.edu
Rick Pildes rick.pildes at nyu.edu
Richard Primus raprimus at umich.edu
K. Sabeel Rahmansabeel.rahman at brooklaw.edu
Alice Ristroph alice.ristroph at shu.edu
Neil Siegel siegel at law.duke.edu
Brian Tamanaha btamanaha at wulaw.wustl.edu
Mark Tushnet mtushnet at law.harvard.edu
Adam Winkler winkler at ucla.edu
Immigration law in the United States has never done a very good job of promoting the nation's economic interests. The proposed "Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act" (DREAM Act) is a case in point. The DREAM Act would provide aliens of "good moral character" who arrived in the United States illegally as minors a path to permanent residency and citizenship if they graduate high school and complete two years in the military or two years of college.
Supporters of the Act say that conditioning legalization on fulfillment of one of these two requirements will benefit the nation militarily and economically. The economic argument is that the individuals who make it through the process will be the best and the brightest, with the skills to find employment. This is a dubious claim. Two years of undefined college education do not make somebody very marketable, particularly in the current economy.
Congress should align the DREAM Act more plainly with the country's economic needs.
The country faces a shortage of nurses. Various studies predict a shortfall of around 500,000 nurses within the next fifteen years as the baby boomer generation ages. In place of the DREAM Act's nebulous requirement of two years of college, Congress should condition legalization upon completion of nursing training and five years of employment as a registered nurse. The DREAM Act can in this way be a win-win, conferring a benefit on the alien whose status is regularized and on the nation.
The proposal need not be limited to nursing. The country also faces a shortage of other health care professionals (including primary care physicians) and the DREAM Act should likewise provide a means of legalization to individuals who commit to working in those professions.
The point is that if Congress is inclined to deal with the problem of individuals who entered the United States unlawfully as children, it can--and should--do so in a way most likely to serve the nation's economic interests. Posted
by Jason Mazzone [link]