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The DREAM Act: Tapping an Overlooked Pool of Home-Grown Talent to Meet Military Enlistment Needs

By Margaret D. Stock
October 04, 2005
Participants at the third annual Marine Advanced Technology Education Center’s Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Competition were shocked when four illegal aliens from Mexico—part of an ill-funded high school team from a rundown Hispanic neighborhood in West Phoenix, Arizona—beat sophisticated competitors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and several other U.S. colleges to win a national competition to build the best underwater robot. Luis Aranda, Cristian Arcega, Lorenzo Santillan, and Oscar Vasquez—all of whom had been living in the United States illegally since they were children—won not only the overall award, but also the design award and the technical writing award. Judges, including one from the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR), were so impressed by the team’s accomplishments that they created a special judge’s
recognition award for the four young men....