Nightmare on Main Street, USA: DREAM Act is Baaaack!
The DREAM Act, cherished by supporters of illegal aliens, and once thought to be killed, is at least on life support. Those millions of people who told their legislators they did not want amnesty, no way, no how, had reason to think that the DREAM Act, which was included in the "comprehensive" immigration bill, was dead. However, Democrats are intent on bringing it back piecemeal. Hence, the DREAM Act is back. Senator Dick Durbin is doing what he can to resurrect the act.
A bill S.2205 was introduced last week by Senators Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Richard Lugar (R-IN), and Dick Durbin. This senate bill grants amnesty to illegal aliens who arrived in the U.S. before the age of sixteen. Although publicized as a help to young students, the bill has no age limits on applicants and no caps as to the numbers. The final goodie is the provision that illegal aliens who are granted amnesty under the bill are eligible for federal financial aid.
There are now reports that Democrat Senate Leader Harry Reid plans to use a maneuver to bring it back as a stand-alone bill as early as this week by invoking Rule 14. This would allow him to fast-track the bill, with no debate and no markups, which is usually the procedure.
The DREAM Act has been around for several years and was included in the ill-fated “comprehensive” amnesty legislation defeated in the Senate this year. It has been changed from time to time, so some provisions have been altered or even omitted from different resurrections of the act.
Generally speaking, this act would allow illegal aliens the right to in-state tuition as it is offered now to citizens. The beneficiaries would be mostly high school grads, but one version of the act allows those of ages up to twenty-five years to receive the benefit. Also, there are loopholes for “family” and “hardships” Proponents argue that these young people were brought to this country at a young age and, due to no fault of their own, may not partake of in-state tuition. Those who oppose it state that these students would be allowed to compete with citizens for the slots available in colleges and universities, which slots are becoming scarce. They would probably be considered minority status, further giving them the edge in securing the slots available.
Also, the parents who broke our immigration laws in coming here with their children would benefit from that act of lawlessness. Their children would be put on a path to citizenship, and at some time would be able to sponsor their relatives for legal stature.
In one variation of the act, even gang members would be included in this benefit.
In Senator Durbin’s latest try, the requirements are so minimal that gang members would have little trouble complying:
They came to the U.S. before age of 16. They have lived continuously in the U.S. for 5 years. They graduated from a U.S. high school.
Gang members can also receive amnesty by the DREAM act if they renounce their gang ties, but the statement would be allowed to be unsworn. Those who regularly rob, rape and kill are not good candidates to be believed, sworn or unsworn.
The age requirement seems to be highly flexible. One feature is that there is no stipulation as to how old an applicant can be. Kris Kobach, in a Heritage Foundation Backgrounder of September 13, 2007, stated that “a 45 year old can claim that he illegally entered the United States 30 years ago at the age of 15”. As proof of the claim that they were under the age of 16 when they were brought across the border, all they need to do is sign an affidavit.
To give the illegal alien every benefit possible, the framers of this act also included the stipulation that once an illegal files an application, he/she cannot be deported. Voila...instant amnesty.
Those Senators most closely associated with sponsoring legislation for the DREAM Act are Durbin, Lugar, Hatch, Kennedy, Feinstein, and Hagel.
There are powerful groups supporting this legislation, as they supported the “comprehensive” amnesty legislation that failed to pass. La Raza and other advocates for Hispanics support it. Also, as early as March, 2003, Catholic Charities USA was writing letters to senators such as Ted Kennedy, Dick Durbin, and Orrin Hatch, thanking them for their “strong support” for the U.S. raised child immigrants lacking immigration status. The Catholic Church has made a crusade out of “welcoming the stranger” in their churches. Cardinal Roger Mahony, who announced in public that he would not obey any restrictive laws against illegal aliens, was shown on TV promoting the amnesty alongside Ted Kennedy.
When the amnesty legislation was defeated, most American citizens probably thought they had prevailed in getting it killed. The congressional switchboards at one point were so swamped they shut down. However, the DREAM Act is one that is being brought back as a piecemeal attempt to get it through when it could not be passed in the omni-amnesty bill.
Once again, it is well to know where your legislators stand on this. We know of some of the groups who support the DREAM Act. Who is representing you, the average American voter? Are those who support amnesty hoping you are not paying attention? Will these legislators manage to get through Congress piecemeal what they could not get in the whole amnesty bill? Where do your representatives stand? Did they get your message?
Barbara regularly writes for CapitolHillCoffeeHouse. She also appears in California Chronicle, Border Patrol, and Citizens Caucus. Her primary interest is illegal immigration, but she writes about other subjects as well.
Barbara lives in a large city on the West Coast. Her loyalties are with God, family, country, heritage and borders.
She enjoys music, painting, poetry and song writing.