DREAM Act myths
The Obama administration's latest attempt at amnesty is a lawless act and an end run around American citizens and their representatives in Congress.
It is also a hostile act toward the millions of legal residents looking for jobs. Legalizing illegal aliens is unpopular and this plan might well drive voters away from the Obama campaign. If this were not the case, Obama would have announced his administrative amnesty plan on a Monday morning and followed with a week of fanfare.
Instead, the White House decided to drop this bombshell on a Friday afternoon while refusing to take questions from the press.
The amnesty memo, “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children,” is available online. Though details are scarce, the plan raises a number of questions.
If the plan were narrowly tailored and designed to benefit only young people brought here by their parents, the plan might find some support. Unfortunately, the president's plan is much more broad in scope than its supporters are willing to admit. Some of the myths spread by supporters are addressed here.
“It will only benefit 800,000 people.”
The White House is claiming that this administrative DREAM Act amnesty will benefit 800,000 illegal aliens. But the Pew Hispanic Center estimates that 1.4 million people will qualify for the amnesty. These estimates assume no fraud. And the number of individuals who will ultimately benefit under the act will be much larger if history is any guide.
In 1989, Roberto Suro, writing in The New York Times, described the 1986 amnesty as “one of the most extensive immigration frauds ever perpetrated against the United States Government.” He noted that “federal officials and immigration experts place the number of fraudulent applications at somewhere between 250,000 and 650,000.”
“It's for those with no criminal history.”
Advocates claim this grant of work permits would benefit illegal aliens who are already here working and are leading “law-abiding lives.” Yet illegal aliens who hold jobs have acquired their positions through fraud and are not, by definition, leading law-abiding lives.
The White House claims that before an illegal alien can benefit from its administrative amnesty plan, he or she must pass a background check. There are two problems.
First, just because a person does not have a rap sheet, it does not necessarily follow that he or she is not violating a number of laws. A background check might turn up nothing, even though the alien could easily be prosecuted if the Obama administration were interested in upholding the rule of law.
Second, an alien's background is potentially unknowable. A background check will likely be a simple name search in U.S. databases. One problem is that the alien has likely been using a number of aliases during his or her stay in the United States, making a background check difficult.
Furthermore, a background check is unlikely to include a search of foreign databases, yet the alien may be a serious criminal in his or her home country.
“It's for children.”
The plan would benefit illegal aliens up to age 30 and anyone 18 or older is an adult. This is not just for “youths.” Furthermore, this plan will benefit any older illegal alien who can successfully make a fraudulent claim as to his or her age.
“It's only for those brought here by their parents.”
Obama's proposal would benefit illegal aliens who sneaked into the United States on their own. Like the failed DREAM Act, this plan does not include any language requiring that illegal alien beneficiaries actually be “brought” into the United States by their parents. This is a fictitious description that amnesty advocates have created in the hope that it creates sympathy, and ultimately support, for amnesty.
It is well known that teenage aliens frequently enter the United States illegally on their own volition.
“They must have lived in the United States for five continuous years.”
It is well established in immigration law that the “continuous residence” requirement does not actually require an alien to be continuously resident in the United States.
Immigration attorneys have been successful in getting immigration courts to whittle this down to a point where it is almost meaningless.
For example, an alien seeking naturalization must also prove five years of continuous residency. But that can still be met even if the alien has been absent from the United States for up to six months. And the alien can have multiple six-month vacations over the course of five years.
If Obama's administrative DREAM Act follows established precedent, the five-year residency requirement will not mean much.
“It will not lead to citizenship.”
The entire goal of President Obama's administrative DREAM Act is to put illegal aliens on a pathway to citizenship. The White House knows it cannot get an amnesty through Congress, so its new goal is to provide illegal aliens as many benefits of U.S. citizenship as possible today so that full citizenship simply becomes a matter of filling out paperwork tomorrow.
This plan will result in work permits being granted to illegal aliens. Does anyone really think that once the illegal aliens are granted work permits, the administration won't decree that these illegal aliens also have a right to driver's licenses so that they can get to work?
And why shouldn't they be allowed to vote?
This is all part of an ongoing agenda to legitimize a population of people who have chosen to violate multiple U.S. laws. It starts small, like recognizing unverifiable foreign consulate cards such as Mexico's matricula consular so that the alien can open a bank account, get a loan, open credit cards, and so forth. Eventually, the illegal alien acquires all of the benefits of U.S. citizenship with few civic responsibilities. It is important to deport illegal aliens at the first possible opportunity.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.