Michigan is a microcosm of the nation’s current economic crisis: a shrinking job base and an education system that is failing its youth. As the presidential candidates wind through Michigan this campaign season, like they did last week for a national debate on the economy, we hope they focus on ways to ensure that more students graduate with high school diplomas. We need every eligible high school graduate to attend college and help build the American economic engine with highly skilled labor and entrepreneurial know-how.
One step they could take is to support the bipartisan DREAM Act, which fulfills the promise of the "American Dream" and lives up to our Constitutional ideals by opening up the path to higher education and military service, regardless of immigration status, for every child.
Our economic and national security depends on legislation grounded in the Constitution and the principles of equality and opportunity. The DREAM Act will let new generations of Americans enter our workforce and serve our country. It will channel young immigrants into the nation’s universities so they can contribute to our manufacturing base, make sure America is competitive in the new global economy and build a strong military. In fact, the DREAM Act is among the Defense Department’s top strategic goals in order to maintain mission-ready, all-volunteer armed forces.
Passage of the DREAM Act will help take Michigan and the nation into the future, which is what Election 2012 is supposed to be all about. Let’s hope the candidates help take us there.