In the run-up to the defense authorization vote, there was a lot of discussion of don’t ask, don’t tell but not quite as much debate of the DREAM Act. Like the broader “comprehensive immigration reform” legislation that preceded it, the DREAM Act sounds pretty reasonable in theory until you look at the details and find that is a larger amnesty.
The bill goes beyond offering a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who have served in the military or are high school valedictorians. The academic requirements are minimal. The illegal immigrant could have arrived as late as age 15. They don’t have to be high school or college students to qualify — the Senate bill offers eligibility up to age 35 and the House version has no age limit. It contains no meaningful enforcement mechanisms and is open to fraud. And finally, people amnestied under the DREAM Act would able to faciliate the chain migration of millions of their relatives.
If we were really talking about a very narrowly tailored amnesty for people who came here as toddlers, have no roots in their home country and don’t even speak the native language, and have been exemplary students or soliders, even many moderate restrictionists would have no objection. But the DREAM Act doesn’t stop there. Of course, that won’t stop supporters from trying to ram a mini-amnesty through one way or another.