The DREAM Act has become a rallying cry for President Obama, members of his administration, and liberal Democrats everywhere. President Obama has vowed to “keep fighting for the DREAM Act,” which would grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.
It’s true when listeners or those polled don’t know the facts that the DREAM Act has some appeal. After all, we are all naturally sympathetic when children are involved.
But the descriptions of the DREAM Act voiced by President Obama and his cohorts are not accurate. And the consequences are never told.
DREAM Act supporters claim that only children would benefit from such a bill, but the facts tell another story. Under most DREAM Act proposals, amnesty would be given to individuals up to the age of 30—not exactly children. And some other proposals don’t even have an age limit.
These supporters also maintain that illegal immigrants can’t go college without the DREAM Act. But the truth is that illegal immigrants can already go to college in most states.
And ultimately, most versions of the DREAM Act actually don’t even force illegal immigrants to comply with all the requirements in the bill, such as going to college or joining the military. The administration can waive requirements because of “hardship” at its complete discretion.
DREAM Act proposals are also a magnet for fraud. Many illegal immigrants will fraudulently claim they came here as children or that they are under 30. And the federal government has no way to check whether their claims are true or not.
Such massive fraud occurred after the 1986 amnesty for illegal immigrants who claimed they were agricultural workers. Studies found two-thirds of all applications for the 1986 amnesty were fraudulent.
And this amnesty did nothing to stop illegal immigration. In 1986, there were about three million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. Today, there are an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. and about seven million of them work here, unfairly taking jobs from unemployed Americans.
While DREAM Act supporters claim that it would only benefit children, they skip over the fact that it actually rewards the very illegal immigrant parents who knowingly violated our laws. Once their children become U.S. citizens, they can petition for their illegal immigrant parents and adult siblings to be legalized, who will then bring in others in an endless chain.
This kind of chain migration only encourages more illegal immigration, as parents will bring their children to the U.S. in hopes of receiving citizenship.
President Obama tried to get the DREAM Act passed during a lame duck session about a year ago but it faced bipartisan opposition in Congress. This hasn’t stopped the administration from passing its agenda. The Obama administration does everything it can to let illegal immigrants stay here, which compounds the problem.
Political appointees at the Department of Homeland Security recently issued new deportation guidelines that amount to backdoor amnesty and strike another blow at millions of unemployed U.S. workers.
Under the administration’s new deportation policy, DHS officials review all incoming and most pending cases before an immigration court to determine if the illegal immigrant can remain in the U.S. Since the administration has made clear that many illegal immigrants are not considered priorities for removal, including potential DREAM Act beneficiaries, this could open the door to allow millions of illegal immigrants to live and work in the U.S. without a vote of Congress.
The Obama administration has also cut worksite enforcement efforts by 70%, allowing illegal immigrants to continue working in jobs that rightfully belong to citizens and legal workers. And the list goes on and on – this administration has a pattern of ignoring the laws and intent of Congress.
The United States is based on the rule of law but the Obama administration already has dirty hands by abusing administrative authority to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants. The DREAM Act doesn’t stop illegal immigration—it only encourages more of it by rewarding lawbreakers.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) is Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee
Congressman Lamar Smith represents the 21st district of Texas in the House of Representatives and is the chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.