December 2, 2010
This week, liberals in the House and Senate are working to repay their political allies during the lame duck session before they lose considerable power.
We are told that the Dream Act, which will allow “back door” amnesty for potentially millions of illegal aliens, could come to the House floor for a vote next week. Harry Reid has also filed cloture on the Dream Act in the Senate, so it could come to the Senate floor very soon as well.
We need to get the message through to the liberals once and for all that Americans will not tolerate amnesty for illegal aliens. At a time when economic growth is slow and many Americans are struggling to make ends meet, lawmakers need to spend the remainder of the lame duck session addressing the looming Obama tax hikes — not clobbering American taxpayers with even heavier financial burdens!
Supporters of the Dream Act tout it as an innocent plan that would allow “children” brought into the U.S. illegally to obtain legal status and a path to citizenship, if they complete educational requirements or a specified length of military service. This simplistic and misleading explanation fails to reveal the true nature of the legislation. In truth, the Dream Act is fraught with serious problems, as it will
- Allow illegal aliens to apply for amnesty even if they are in their 30s when the bill is enacted. Two versions of the bill require that an applicant be under 35 years of age when the bill is enacted; and the third version requires that an applicant be less than 30 years of age.
- Not require illegal aliens to obtain any degree or serve in the military to be granted amnesty. The bill’s educational requirement is so squishy that even high school dropouts would qualify, as long as they obtain their GED and complete a mere 2 years at “an institution of higher education,” including a community college or a vocational school.
The “military service” requirement is also a pretense, since it would allow illegal aliens to obtain amnesty for enlistment in the “uniformed services,” which would include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or the Public Health Service.
Worst of all, an illegal alien who is unable to complete either the educational or the military service requirement can still be granted amnesty, if he shows that his removal would result in a hardship to himself or his U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident spouse, child, or parent.
- Provide a “safe harbor” for any alien who has a pending application for conditional status. This restriction on the Secretary of Homeland Security’s ability to remove an illegal alien would lead to fraud and abuse, as illegal aliens attempting to delay their removal would inevitably apply for conditional status, regardless of their eligibility.
Such fraudulent applications would increase the financial burden on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), who are tasked with processing such applications. Fraudulent applications would also delay processing for aliens who are actually trying to enter America in a legal manner.
- Allow amnestied aliens to apply for citizenship and petition to bring family members — including their parents who brought them here illegally — to the U.S. as soon as they become citizens.
- Grant in-state tuition to amnestied aliens, even as U.S. citizens and legally present aliens attending school across their state lines are denied the same tuition rates.
- Allow amnestied aliens to qualify for other federal student assistance, including federal student loans, federal work-study programs, and other federal educational services. American taxpayers already foot the bill for these programs. Since an estimated 1.3-2.1 million illegal aliens will qualify for amnesty under the Dream Act, taxpayers can expect the cost of providing these benefits to skyrocket!
- Tie DHS’s hands in removing illegal aliens whose applications for amnesty are denied. The Dream Act prohibits DHS from using information from an illegal alien’s amnesty application to initiate a removal proceeding, or to investigate fraud that has occurred in the application process. As a result, applicants who intentionally try to commit fraud against the system will effectively be safe from prosecution. The Dream Act unacceptably puts DHS in a more difficult position than an illegal alien, as it requires DHS to “prove a negative” (that is, prove it did not use information obtained from an unsuccessful amnesty application) before it can even begin investigating and prosecuting abusers.
Please contact your Representative and your Senators today and urge them to vote against the Dream Act in whatever form it might take.
Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121
All 42 Senate Republicans signed a letter to Harry Reid committing to block all legislative business until Senate Democrats hold a vote on stopping the massive tax increase set to take effect when the Bush era tax cuts expire at the end of the year. Click here to see Phyllis’ statement praising this letter. This should stop the Dream Act from passing the Senate, but it is important to keep fighting. The liberals will not give up their efforts to impose expensive, freedom-killing legislation. We cannot give up the fight against these measures!