Human Events Blog

DREAM Act by fiat

You voted against the DREAM Act, America, but His Majesty King Barack I has decided you’re going to get it anyway.  Dispensing with even the minimal procedures surrounding the executive power he loves to abuse, Obama has simply ordered the Department of Homeland Security to stop deporting illegal aliens who were brought into the United States as children, and give them work permits instead.

According to the Associated Press, if illegal aliens were “brought to the United States before they turned 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED, or served in the military,” they are now immune to deportation.  They can also apply for two-year work permits, with unlimited renewal opportunities.

That sounds like a poor fit for Barack Obama’s economy of endless double-digit unemployment, which is a good three points worse for both Hispanics and young people.  And remember, any rational effort to ensure these non-deportable illegal aliens don’t vote is a racist hate crime that must be stopped at all costs.  We should have some record voter turnout this year – well over 100 percent of eligible voters in some areas!

Say, while the President and his Homeland Security secretary, Janet Napolitano, are busy short-circuiting constitutional government for their big illegal-alien pander, could they take a moment to tell us how efforts to crack down on the billions of dollars in fraudulent tax refunds claimed by illegals are coming along?

We’re effectively going to stop deporting these aliens – does anyone really think Napolitano’s officers are going to toss the parents of un-deportable illegal students across the border?  And if a huge portion of the illegal population is now immune to deportation, what’s the point of expending resources we could be using for high-speed rail to chase the rest of them around?  Safeguarding what remains of citizenship privileges should become a much higher priority… but that would anger the groups Obama is trying to buy off, so I wouldn’t expect much of a crackdown.

As it happens, proposals similar to Obama’s autocratic policy directives have been making their way through Congress, championed by Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.  Rubio has been trying to work within something we laughingly refer to as “the Constitution,” which involves a lot of hard work winning congressional support and persuading voters.  That’s why the Constitution must be shredded when it gets in the way of Really Important Plans hatched by our betters.

This is about more than just keeping those young students, so brimming with potential, from worrying about the threat of deportation.  The Washington Times had a story on Thursday about “a secret draft policy” that would let Border Patrol agents “catch-and-release low-priority illegal immigrants, rather than bring them in for processing and prosecution.”

“Opponents say it amounts to another ‘backdoor amnesty’ for illegal immigrants,” the Times reported, “and could give the Administration a tool to pressure Border Patrol agents not to pursue some people.”  The border is slowly erased, our political overlords import a new electorate more to their liking, and the legal citizens of the United States don’t get to vote on any of it.  It’s too bad President Obama can’t attend to his actual duties with this level of efficiency.

Perhaps Americans would vote for various changes to immigration law, or accept the argument that illegals – at least young ones, who had no control over their parents’ decision to drag them across the border – should be given a “path to citizenship.”  Senator Rubio has always expressed confidence in his ability to get such legislation through Congress.  It is a horrible offense against even the broadest definition of democracy to remove such choices from the hands of the people, and their elected representatives, at the whim of an executive.

The most curious thing about this whole affair is that it emphatically does not create a “path to citizenship” for anyone.  “This policy will not lead toward citizenship,” says the AP report, “but will remove the threat of deportation and grant the ability to work legally, leaving eligible immigrants able to remain in the United States for extended periods.”

Amnesty International said it “welcomes President Obama’s steps to relieve the plight of undocumented citizens and their uncertain futures, but it is a temporary measure.  Immigrant children and their families, and the country as a whole, deserve a permanent solution, not tomorrow or after the election, but right now.”

The endgame of all this is complete amnesty, with voting rights (and Democrat Party registration cards) for all illegal aliens, but the Democrats can’t be honest about that, so they impose it slowly, and irrationally.

What’s the logical point behind tossing little crumbs of partial citizenship to portions of the illegal population, without any debate over the long-term fate of the massive illegal population?  It seems insulting, and futile, for everyone involved.  It’s bizarre to waste time on “temporary measures” for a problem that has existed for decades, and isn’t going away any time soon.  What happens to all those DREAM-Act-by-fiat students when they turn 31?  When the economy picks up, fresh waves of illegals will throw themselves at the porous border, committing a “crime” they are confident will not be prosecuted.  What will we do with all of them, and their many children?

Update: Response to the President’s move from Senator Rubio:

“There is broad support for the idea that we should figure out a way to help kids who are undocumented through no fault of their own, but there is also broad consensus that it should be done in a way that does not encourage illegal immigration in the future. This is a difficult balance to strike, one that this new policy, imposed by executive order, will make harder to achieve in the long run.

“Today’s announcement will be welcome news for many of these kids desperate for an answer, but it is a short term answer to a long term problem. And by once again ignoring the Constitution and going around Congress, this short term policy will make it harder to find a balanced and responsible long term one.”

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