The basic problem with the DREAM Act is that it invites – almost begs for – fraud. The last time the nation took a stab at amnesty for illegal immigrants was back in 1986. That effort was a spectacular failure (the number of illegal immigrants in the United States having doubled since then) and fraud was rampant, as illegal immigrants lied through their teeth in order to meet the criteria necessary to earn their Get Out of Jail Free card from Uncle Sam. Nothing in the DREAM Act prevents that kind of fraud, other than the vague, misguided belief that government bureaucrats will be especially skilled at separating the wheat from the chaff. Worse, the DREAM Act encourages applicants to lie by prohibiting the use of “any of the information contained in the amnesty application (name, address, length of illegal presence that the alien admits to, etc.) to initiate a removal proceeding or investigate or prosecute fraud in the application process.” As Mark Krikorian pointed out in the National Review, this provision is the equivalent of giving illegal immigrants a free pull at the naturalization slot machine. If a fraudulent application gets by the bureaucrats, the applicant wins. If not, they’re no worse off than they were before.
And let’s say that an illegal immigrant who tried, and failed, to win naturalization under the DREAM Act is later caught and faced deportation. Such an individual could argue that information in his DREAM Act application was used to find him and build a case against him. The government would then face the burden of proving that wasn’t – couldn’t be – so. The DREAM Act would thus become a leftist attorney’s dream come true. Any deportation case involving a DREAM Act applicant would become bogged down in the courts as prosecutors tried to prove that no government agency could have possible accessed any information contained in the application.
A third, equally troubling, aspect of the DREAM Act involves fundamental fairness. If we imagine that we can find a fix for the first two problems, if there was some way to effectively prevent fraud and avoid frivolous legal challenges, the problem of equity still remains. The ideal DREAM Act applicant came to America as a kid, got an education and is now a productive member of society. That education, in most every case, would have been subsidized in large part or in whole by taxpayers, a group that does not include our ideal applicant’s parents. Even if one accepts the unrealistic ideals of the DREAM Act as achievable goals, we’re still left with a huge mass of illegal immigrants who reaped the benefits of America’s educational system without they, or their guardians, having contributed to the upkeep of that system.
The truth of the matter is, if illegal immigrants benefited from the use of our public education resources, but did nothing to contribute to the upkeep of those resources, then they owe us. Yet, there will never be a reckoning of this debt, and few Americans will ask for one. These individuals will have completely benefited from American beneficence at absolutely no cost to themselves. Does this sound like a “humanitarian” crisis?
The DREAM Act is just the latest example of a seemingly high-minded, well-intentioned bill designed by leftists who either refuse to acknowledge or who consciously ignore the many disastrous consequences that would result from the passage of such a statute. It’s a bill that does little to solve our existing illegal-immigration problem, even as it encourages more illegal immigration in the future. If we’re going to stem the tide pouring across our borders, then Congress needs to take clear, decisive action. The DREAM Act isn’t any of that. The DREAM Act is a coward’s way out, and Republicans should do everything in their power to block however many DREAM Acts that Harry Reid chooses to throw at them.
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