In the United States, the debate on extensive immigration law reform has been a constant thread of conversation that runs through a variety of sectors. With the Presidential race shifting into high gear, political representatives have been quick to capitalize on the concerns that grip a considerable segment of the American public. Martin O’Malley, a presidential candidate for the Democratic party, expressed his views on the question of immigration reform and the impact of immigrants on the economic landscape of the United States. O’Malley was prominently featured at the recent annual conference of the National Council of La Raza. Using his family’s history and experiences as immigrants as a springboard, O’malley addressed the Latino public and detailed his views on what the country needs to do to move towards progress as far as the topic of immigration is concerned.
O’malley’s grandfather hails from Ireland and arrived in the United States without a lot of advantages. O’Malley’s prominent position in U.S. politics leaves him in a unique position given his personal link to immigration related issues. O’malley’s political history when it comes to immigration related issues tends to favor immigrants. One of O’malley’s biggest contributions to the immigration crusade involves the DREAM act during his tenure as governor in Maryland.
When O’malley was governor of Maryland, he signed the DREAM act into law when the federal government was dragging its feet. The decision gave thousands of undocumented immigrants access to educational benefits. The DREAM act is a legislative proposal that is geared towards granting conditional residency status to immigrants who are able to meet specific qualifications. Some of the requirements stipulated in the DREAM act include a continuous period of residency within the United States for at least 5 years, a tangible demonstration of good moral character, an absence of a criminal record, and proof that an immigrant entered the country before the age of 16.