Senate DREAMs On
The same pro-amnesty senators are again pushing the same amnesty bill, the so-called DREAM Act.
Proponents love this legislation, which stands for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, because its beneficiaries are the most sympathetic subset of illegal aliens—giving advocates their best shot at achieving amnesty.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D.-Ill.) and 34 Democratic co-sponsors (including Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) back S 952.
No Republicans have co-sponsored the Senate amnesty bill this time. Notably absent are Sen. Richard Lugar (R.-Ind.) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R.-Alaska). Both those lawmakers voted to take up the DREAM Act in the lame-duck session last December. Then, the measure failed to get the necessary 60 votes to force the bill to the Senate floor.
Rep. Howard Berman (D.-Calif.) has sponsored the House counterpart, HR 1842. Thirty Democrats have co-sponsored his legislation.
DREAM is amnesty for those illegal aliens supposedly brought into the country as children. Not only would they gain legal status, these aliens would qualify for federal student loans and grants. DREAMers would need a high school diploma or to have served at least two years in the U.S. military. Another qualification is to purport to have lived in the United States for at least five years.
Illegal alien “children” up to age 35 could claim, under the DREAM Act, to have been brought here before they were 15. The bill has loose standards for proving one’s young age at illegal entry. Essentially, illegals sign an affidavit claiming the timing and age.
The legislation also repeals the law that bars in-state tuition for illegals.
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s immigration subcommittee held a hearing recently on this legislation. Calling for legalization of certain illegal aliens were the Obama administration’s cabinet secretaries for education and homeland security and a Defense Department underling.
A room packed with illegal aliens observed the committee’s meeting to promote the DREAM Act.
Ranking Republican John Cornyn of Texas gave DREAM advocates a wake-up call. “It’s a Band-Aid and does nothing to fix our broken immigration system . . . nothing to prevent further illegal immigration,” Sen. Cornyn said. “If we pass this bill, we will be back here in five years with the same bill.”
Education Secretary Arne Duncan advocated the DREAM amnesty by denying the bill is an amnesty (he admitted it changes illegals’ immigration status). He claimed that these “kids can’t fulfill their potential.”
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano asserted, “Our [Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS)] priorities are strengthened by DREAM, allowing us to focus on real security threats.” She argued that because DHS lacks enough funds to remove all 11 million illegals, DREAM’s legalization scheme should be passed.
Not that the hundred or so illegals attending the hearing seemed worried, but Napolitano assured them that no enforcement would happen that day.
Department of Defense Undersecretary Clifford Stanley claimed the DREAM Act “will have a positive impact on [military] recruiting and readiness.”
The administration basically views these illegal aliens as a new constituency for their bureaus—education giveaway programs, new recruits for the military, etc.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R.-Ala.) later issued a 10-point statement highlighting problems with the DREAM Act. He says this version is even worse than previous legislation, legalizing more than 2 million illegal aliens and tacking on another $5 billion to the federal deficit.
Sessions notes the DREAM Act isn’t limited to children. “[T]he registration window will remain open indefinitely regardless of future age” beyond a claimant’s 35th birthday.
He points out the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO’s) $5 billion cost estimate dramatically underestimates total expenditures. That’s because the CBO omitted many other costs of this amnesty, such as waived immigration application fees, extra workload on the immigration agency and the chain migration from each amnesty recipient’s many distant relatives vying for visas.
Further, DREAM doesn’t condition legalization on completion of any post-secondary education or military service. Sessions notes that a legal process already exists for illegal aliens to earn U.S. citizenship through serving in the U.S. military.
Sessions’ statement warns that DREAMers stand to obtain federal student loans and financial aid, increasing their fiscal footprint upon taxpayers. They also gain full rights and privileges to sponsor others for immigration visas—something reserved for citizens and legal immigrants.