Dream Act or Nightmare?

On its face, the Dream Act may seem like a responsible and humane thing to do.  The question revolves around what to do with the illegal aliens brought into the US by their parents, as children.  Even for those of us who feel that our illegal immigration problem is the result of a Federal government’s intentional failure to enforce the nation’s immigration laws; children brought into the US seem to be the true innocents in this whole twisted issue.

That is why for someone that likes to think of himself as a politically astute person, I find it distressing that I am having a problem finding objective reporting on what the provisions of this bill would mean for US immigration policy. I also find it troubling that democrats in congress seem prepared to move forward with a vote before the legislation can be scored by the congressional budget office.

While it seems hard to imagine any law enacted by Congress that does not presuppose some level of unintended consequences, I would really like to know what this law means.  The media has done a really good job explaining the politics of the Dream Act, Harry Reed’s reelection and the lame duck Congress blah blah blah…, but no one seems to want to explain to me how the provisions in this law will play out in the real world.  Like, what would become of the immigration status of the parents of the minor children that are given “conditional permanent residency” under the Dream Act?

The proponents of this bill claim it is designed to address the needs of a well defined and limited population of young people who, by no fault of their own, find themselves in immigration limbo.  Fair enough.   But given that serious people seriously want to erase the border between the United States, Mexico and other Latin American countries, I am concerned by opponents to the Dream Act claims that the bill is filled with loopholes.

Two of the reported loopholes that give me the most pause are the ability of those who qualified for the Dream Act to later sponsor their parents who brought them into the country illegally in the first place and the fact that the law seems to allow children to qualify for the Dream Act who have entered the US after the law has been enacted.  Together these two loopholes would create an incentive for continued illegal immigration.

If the Democrats pass a limited and well defined bill to help young people raised in America, then the political impact may be negligible, but if this bill, slipped through in a lame duck session, is turned into an amnesty free-for-all then the political impact could have lasting negative effects on the Democratic Party.

For Democrats, like myself, who believe that the Democratic Party’s leadership desires to allow 10 to 15 million foreign nationals, living and working in the United States illegally, access to the legal labor market would be an economic and political disaster, opening the door for the Dream Act is a scary proposition.

See my facebook page “Democrats Against Amnesty”: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Democrats-Against-Amnesty/152334804799707

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