Dream Act--Amnesty By Another Name

As was said in Romeo and Juliet, “A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” In immigration law, Amnesty by any other name is amnesty and something sure smells rotten in the state of immigration politics.

The Washington Post editorialized yesterday about The DREAM Act, the provisions of which

would apply only to those who entered the country at age 15 or younger, have lived here for at least five years and have unblemished records. Upon graduating from high school, they would be granted conditional legal status for six years, a grace period in which they would have to spend at least two years enrolled in a four-year or community college or serving in a branch of the U.S. military. If they satisfied all those conditions while staying out of trouble, they would qualify to become legal permanent residents.
I have absolutely no problem with this part of the bill. To a certain extent, these children have been forced into illegal status by the illegal acts of their families and it is patently unfair to hold them accountable for the actions of others.

However, there is one great big, huge, honking loophole that must be closed--sponsorship.

Under current immigration laws, a legal permanent resident may sponsor a very large family to be in the United States. While the provision has some humanitarian concerns which are noble, I fear the exploitation of sponsorship by Dream Act admittees.

Imagine, an extended family of 20 illegal immigrants has illegally entered the United Staes, including a five children, say between the ages of 3 and 14. Under the provisions of the Dream Act, if but one of these children keeps a clean police record, graduates from high school, enrolls for two years in a community college or four year university (not graduate mind you, just enroll) they could become a permanent legal resident and then under other provisions of the immigration laws, be permitted to sponsor the entire extended family of 20 into permanent legal status. With five kids under the age of 15 when they entered, this family would have five attempts to become legal on the backs of the Dream Act admittees.

The Post admonishes us to be "big" or else these kids will be doomed to a life on the margins of society. I am not looking to marginalize any kid who works hard to succeed, I am looking to eliminate loopholes.

In order to eliminate loopholes, any person admitted to permanent legal residence under the Dream Act would have to wait until either 1). U.S. Citizenship is attained or 2). 15 years has passed as a permanent legal resident, with a clean record, by which time most of these Dream Act admittees will be in their late 30's to early 40's. Only then will Dream Act admittees be permitted to sponsor family members into legal residency. The now adult child will be accorded legal status as a reward for his or her efforts at assimilation, but the family cannot be similarly rewarded without further proof of assimilation-either citizenship or a lengthy stay in the United States.

If the Dream Act is a path to citizenship or assimilation, lets make sure one of those happens.

Posted by Matt Johnston at September 27, 2007 10:36 AM
Comment #234546

I agree, with the possible exceptions of sponsoring foreign spouses, natural or adoptive children, and parents who are in need of support either due to age or medical condition.

Posted by: DOC at September 27, 2007 11:42 AM
Comment #234553

Amnesty/Dream Act, sounds like bush is pushing for the illegals again. Then again he is living in a dream world anyway.

Posted by: KT at September 27, 2007 12:07 PM
Comment #234640

Matt, secure our borders against further waves, against terrorists, against medically unscreened and unimmunized immigrants, and against those would demonstrate in our streets shutting down our lives while they attempt to pressure Americans to leave those borders open, and then, AND ONLY THEN, can we talk about the disposition of those already here.

When our borders are secured, my disposition toward illegal immigrants already here, will very likely soften and be disposed to humanitarian measures. But not until the threats of wide open borders have been virtually eliminated.

Until that happens, the continued flow of illegal immigrants, threatening my family’s public health, our national resources already strained to 9 Trillion dollars of national debt, and the security of my family in school, workplace, and home, is for me the problem to be solved. What to do with illegals already here is secondary to securing our borders, and I don’t want one dime more spent on illegal disposition until the expense to secure our borders for all Americans inside them, is completed.

I won’t tolerate half measures on border security compromised by concerns for illegal immigrants already here. As a taxpayer, I owe them nothing until my nation’s borders are secured and my government is making rational decisions in my taxpayer’s interest as to who to allow into this country and who not to, and insuring they are medically and immunologically safe to enter, and add more to this country’s future than take from it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 27, 2007 6:22 PM
Comment #234652


Add to that the intentional dilution of our right to choose the future direction of the country with people raised in a society that is overtly patronistic.

America was stocked with peoples who, whether they were striking off out of compromised inheritance structures, (Swedes, Norwegians, Danes) intentional displacement by the landed classes, (Irish, Scots) religious or ethinic persecution, (English and Irish Catholics, European protestants and Moravians, Central and Eastern Europeans and Jews) or a simple longing for freedom and opportunity, were making a statement against the lands from which they came. My family and that of my wife preserve documents showing that those family members knew they were making a clean break with the places from which they came. When people compare the last great wave of immigration (1865-1914) there is a strong tendency to ignore the stridency with which those waves were controlled and how much effort went into “Americanizing” them.

You have complained bitterly of the effort to use Illegal immigration as a way of insuring the Democratic Party a majority. There is no greater danger than that to our capacity to hold our elected officials responsible to us. In the long run there is no greater peril for our country or our form of government.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at September 27, 2007 9:42 PM
Comment #234666

Matt, where would I find the provisions listed?

Posted by: Scott at September 27, 2007 11:36 PM
Comment #234742


If I did not see your name at the bottom of that post, I could have sworn I wrote it. You could not be more right.

I too will soften my stance concerning those already here and living by the rules. But we must have the borders secured FIRST!

But there are 2 more things that need to be done before dealing with illegals and it will be interesting to see what you say to this:

1) Real work place enforcement and dire consequences for those who knowingly employ illegals. This of course needs to be coupled with a reliable way for employers to check on employee status.

2) (and this is the most important) The government must stop enabling and outright subsidizing illegal immigrants. Think about which is the bigger draw for someone to come here illegally, a $5.00 per hour job, or a government that will put me on welfare, give me free health care, free education to my children and give citizenship to any of my children actually born here. We must eliminate all the incentives to come here illegally that our government provides. I believe that it is hypocritical for our government to provide all of these incentives to come here and then hammer an employer for hiring someone who was literally invited here by that same government.

PS. Repeal the 14th amendment. It has outlived its usefulness

Posted by: Beirut Vet at September 28, 2007 3:14 PM
Comment #234753

Beirut Vet said: “Real work place enforcement and dire consequences for those who knowingly employ illegals.”

All for it, if it doesn’t impede haste in securing our borders. And I don’t think it would, as this would involve an entirely different enforcement manpower than securing our borders, and the increased cost would be negligible.

I am not opposed to public assistance to those here legally in need, nor to children suffering regardless of status. Too often such misfortunes are a result of government policy as other factors outside the control of these people.

If a wage earner blows their wad on the craps tables in Reno, no public assistance should be provided. If that wage earner loses their job to NAFTA or CAFTA or Unfair trading practices by China, our government has a responsibility to assist that wage earner in getting back on their financial feet with another job, retraining if necessary, and providing basic necessities in the interim.

No child in America should die from an infected tooth as is now in the news. If a child needs medical care in America, that child should not be denied. America’s people are compassionate, especially when it comes to children, and that should be reflected in American policy where private charity cannot fill a void in a timely or adequate fashion.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 28, 2007 4:45 PM
Comment #234765


No one, least of all me, ever said we should deny health care to someone here legally. In fact, no person here in America is denied health care legal or not.

You may not be aware of the fact that it is illegal to deny health care to anyone in this country regardless of their ability to pay.

There is no reason for anyone here to not seek care. By law every emergency room in America has to provide care and can’t even ask them if they are here legally.

So if someone is dying in this country because of an infected tooth, the first place I would look and first question I would ask is “where are that child’s parents?”

Health care is something that should not be used as an incentive to break the law. It is also something that should not be with held or messed with. I can see your point that if you use the health care system to police illegals, then they will not seek health care and that is dangerous, if that is what you meant. There must be a way to balance this.

But we still come back to the same point, The borders must be secured first, then we can deal with who is already here. Until the borders are secure, we cannot and should not address anything else.

Posted by: Beirut Vet at September 28, 2007 5:43 PM
Comment #234774

Beirut Vet, there is a Grand Canyon between legally saying no one can be denied, and the 47 million Americans who face bankruptcy and inability to provide for their children’s futures if they step into a medical facility without insurance.

A young boy died recently of septicemia because his parents couldn’t afford the dentist for a tooth abscess, waited until he was sick enough to take to the emergency room. Too late, as it turned out.

My daughter just had necessary knee surgery to remove a broken bone chip from under her patella. Cost without insurance: $11,436. Total Cost with Insurance $3,463. You do the math and tell me if you still believe America doesn’t deny health care to citizens.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 28, 2007 8:50 PM
Comment #234779


At what point in time was health care supposed to be free? You know there is no free lunch, so who is going to pay for it?

Government meddling got us into this fix and only them getting out of it will solve it.

FYI: your 47 million figure is grossly inflated. It counts every one who, as an example, changed jobs and was without health care for one day. It also contains millions of young Americans who do not want health care insurance. they feel they are in good health and will take that gamble. But here is the kicker that will hopefully bring you back to the question at hand that sent us down this road: This figure includes the 12 to 20 million illegals in this country

Posted by: Beirut Vet at September 28, 2007 10:15 PM
Comment #234823

Beirut Vet said: “At what point in time was health care supposed to be free? You know there is no free lunch, so who is going to pay for it?”

Where did I ever say it was free? It has never been and will never be, free. Doctors, nurses, and technicians need to eat and live in houses too.

Your question is premised on the either/or premise, that either everyone insures each other and provides for each other’s basic health care needs, or, only those who can afford health care should be entitled to access to it, and everyone else should just go die or suffer quietly without burdening those with wealth with their cries.

The former is the Democratic approach, the latter is the Republican approach. Politically, this issue really is that simple and fundamental. And there is no question the majority in this country are siding with the Democratic approach.

BV said: “Government meddling got us into this fix and only them getting out of it will solve it.”

Government is the people. The people have this either/or problem to deal with. They did, as you say, create the problem by their very numbers and choice of wealth distribution systems. Where your comment errs is in postulating that the people are going to get out of the way of solving this problem. That is patently false on its face.

If you don’t like the 47 million uninsured figure, that’s fine, the problem doesn’t change if the number is 30 million or 47 million. And your argument does not address what I said which was:

“there is a Grand Canyon between legally saying no one can be denied, and the 47 million Americans who face bankruptcy and inability to provide for their children’s futures if they step into a medical facility without insurance.”
The fact that the young don’t elect to pay for health insurance doesn’t change the fact as I stated it, that if by illness or injury, the young uninsured are forced to medical care, they would be bankrupted by it due to their cost being 3 to 5 times higher than for an insured person.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 29, 2007 12:43 PM
Comment #234932

Y’all are off the point.

This discussion deserves its own article.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at September 30, 2007 6:18 PM
Comment #234941


I tried to get it back on track, but it did not work.

I agreed with him and tried to expand on that point, but he wants to go down a different road.

Please join in the conversation and help us get back on track.

Posted by: Beirut Vet at September 30, 2007 10:29 PM
Comment #234966

Beirut Vet,

In as much as the “Dream” is not dead we deal with a situation in which many people both take for granted the economic and societal strength of the United States and assume that we are somehow being greedy if we stand up for the integrity of our country. Communists, when they take power, relish in handing out the property of the “greedy rich”. Of course they jealously protect the privileges of the power elite. This situation is nothing more noble than that.

The people who believe they would be the power elite in the electoral world created by supplanting the electoral majorities of native-born Americans are perfectly willing to hand over the country to naive, illiterate, socially malleable laborers.

If we let them we’ll get what we deserve.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at October 1, 2007 5:39 PM
Comment #358752

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