The Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM Act) would provide a road to citizenship for young illegal aliens if their parents brought them into the country before age 16 and they attend college for at least two years or join the U.S. military.
During this six-year conditional period, immigrants would not be eligible for federal higher education grants, but they would be able to apply for scholarships, student loans and work study grants.
If the illegal alien does not meet the educational or military service requirement within the six-year time period, their temporary residence would be revoked and they would be eligible for deportation authors of the bill say.
Some of the DREAM Act provisions include; proof of arriving in the United States before age 16, proof of residence in the U.S. for a least five consecutive years, compliance with Selective Service, applicants must be between the ages of 12 and 35 at the time of bill enactment, graduate from an American high school or obtain a GED and finally be of “good moral character.”
The DREAM Act’s play on minors is misrepresentative. The age group included in its legislative language says 35-year-olds are eligible for amnesty and not many Americans consider their 35 year-old offspring -kids.
Amnesty proponents think it is a great strategy to attach the DREAM Act or amnesty for minors (to the age of 35) to the defense authorization bill.
“This is the first of many positive steps to take,” said the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) National President Margaret Moran. “I think it is really important that we move forward on this legislation.”
However the chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA) disagrees, “When American men and women are fighting in Afghanistan and the human-trafficking cartels are murdering innocent people trying to cross the border in Northern Mexico, Harry Reid has the audacity to play politics with the Defense bill while enticing people to risk their lives with the cartels along our unsecured southern border. This is irresponsible, and the United States Senate should not stand for it.”
While adding legislative amendments to a non-related bill is not uncommon, sneaking amnesty for children who gained entry into America illegally during a highly political midterm election cycle has divided lawmakers and citizens alike.
Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), the Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Committee contends; “The DREAM Act is a nightmare for the American people. It is an assault on law-abiding, taxpaying American citizens and legal immigrants.”
When many American’s are struggling to pay the bills and get their kids to college another argument presents itself. Many colleges are filled to capacity and asking American families to now compete with 2 million additional children who are not in the country legally sends the wrong message to those who continue to stream across the borders illegally.
“For every illegal immigrant admitted, an American student or legal resident would be turned away at a time when every state university is raising tuition, and many are curtailing enrollment,” Rep. Ed Royce of California said.
Yet pro-amnesty groups see things very differently. “Young people who came here as children with their parents should be allowed to contribute to the only country they have known by attending college, joining the military and continuing to be productive members of society,” Moran of LULAC says.
President Obama also welcomed the idea of the DREAM Act and suggested that this was a good first step on the long road to comprehensive immigration reform.
“I just don’t want anybody to think that if we somehow just do the DREAM Act, that solves the problem,” Obama said in an interview with La Opinion. “We’ve got a bigger problem that we have to solve. We still need comprehensive immigration reform. The DREAM Act can be an important part of that, and, as I said, I’m a big supporter of that. But I also want to make sure that we don’t somehow give up on the bigger strategy.”
Nevertheless the DREAM Act does have a price tag.
The early estimates of the DREAM Act come in the $20 billion range for the first two years alone, according to U.S. Money Talk. They claim that this is a “disaster in the making” and “comes at a time when the U.S. economy has stretched so many millions of Americans so thin.”
Lawmakers phones are already ringing off the hook from concerned constituents informing their representatives on both sides of the aisle that the midterm election is less than 50 days away and their jobs are on the line if the vote in favor of the DREAM Act.
According to NumbersUSA, a Washington D.C. think tank against amnesty, their supporters are out calling the open borders activists by a 10 to one ratio.
“Currently we are being beat by anti-immigrants 10 calls to 1. That means for every 1 call you make in support 10 people are calling against the DREAM Act,” was one message from a pro-amnesty group's alert last night.
Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA says; “The DREAM Act leaves intact the chain migration system that will allow these 2.1 million illegal aliens to eventually send for millions more relatives. The amnestied illegal aliens would be able to get green cards for their parents. And millions of additional relatives would be able to start planning their applications and getting in line. This starts with adult siblings and moves on to aunts, uncles and cousins.”
Republicans are banking on the fact that this new attempt to pass a kinder, gentler form of amnesty will not slip past the American people.
“During these tough economic times, it is incomprehensible that Senate Democrats are planning to attach controversial legislation that has the potential to grant amnesty to over two million illegal immigrants. This would present a huge cost to the American taxpayer, as the illegal immigrants would be eligible for a wide array of federal benefits, including more educational benefits. Rather than reward those that have broken our nation’s immigration laws, Democrats should focus on fixing the economy and putting Americans back to work,” said Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA).
While the amnesty debate boils over, Democrats have failed to listen to the majority of Americans who say “it’s the economy stupid,” and continue to concentrate on other issues rather than jobs. This strategy will most certainly come at a price in the midterms. National polls already indicate the Democrat majority in Congress is set to lose power and with incumbent Republicans losing their jobs to newcomer primary challengers, it appears the winds of change are having a hurricane effect on Washington insiders. http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/amnesty-debate-heats-up-with-the-dream-act
Remember the amnesty memos? The leaked documents that showed officials in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency discussing an Obama administration end-run around Congress to implement an administrative amnesty for untold numbers of illegal immigrants? It turns out that USCIS wasn't alone.
TAS has obtained a draft of a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo that sources say eventually made it all the way up to Secretary Janet Napolitano talking about doing much the same thing -- except in much greater technical detail and with more attention to the political ramifications. The idea is that the first phase of a program to legalize illegal immigrants could be implemented by DHS even in the absence of "comprehensive immigration reform." Or, as the memo puts it, by "using administrative measures to sidestep the current state of Congressional gridlock and inertia."
The memo emphasizes registering, fingerprinting, and screening the illegal immigrant population ("excluding individuals who pose a security risk") but the administrative processes envisioned involve giving eligible illegal immigrants work permits and an interim process to "legalize those who qualify and intend to stay here." The memo does acknowledge Congress would have to act to extend permanent lawful residence.
"If going forward with a larger registration program is not possible," the document obtained by TAS says, "we could propose a narrowly-tailored registration program for individuals eligible for relief under the DREAM Act, AgJOBS, or other specifically designed subcategories." The DREAM Act and AgJOBS are pieces of legislation -- targeted amnesties -- that Congress has not voted to pass.
Most of this is consistent with the USCIS memos reported on earlier, except there is a lot more concern over how Congress will react: "The Secretary would face criticism that she is abdicating her charge to enforce the immigration laws. Internal complaints of this type from career DHS officers are likely and may also be used in the press to bolster the criticism."
Like with the USCIS memo, the administration is likely to argue that this just reflects internal deliberations rather than any official policy. And this document is a draft that could have been modified as it moved up the chain of command. More to follow. http://spectator.org/blog/2010/09/16/department-of-homeland-securit