Fresh off the S-CHIP debacle and their FISA retreat, the Dems look to the illegal alien tuition subsidy legislation known as the DREAM Act for redemption. Numbers USA keeps track of the latest. Looks like the DREAM Act nightmare could see action on the Senate floor as early as tomorrow:
By invoking Senate Rule XIV on S. 2205, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has paved the way for prompt (and ill-advised) floor action on the measure, Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin’s (D-Ill.) new stand-alone DREAM Act amnesty bill. The procedural move, made late last week, means that the DREAM Act may be brought to the Senate floor as early as Tuesday (October 23) without ever having been considered in committee.
It is imperative that NumbersUSA members contact their senators to stop S. 2205 dead in its tracks.
S. 2205, which is cosponsored by long-tenured Republicans Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) and Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), is, essentially, the same amnesty offered up for consideration by Durbin as an amendment (SA 2919) to H.R. 1585, the Defense Department (DoD) authorization bill for fiscal year 2008. The Senate passed that bill October 1 without ever taking up the DREAM Act amendment or amendments concerning increased worker importation. At that time, Leader Reid announced he would push for passage of the DREAM Act before the Senate is scheduled to adjourn for the year (i.e., on or about November 16).
The Dems have tinkered with the act, but it remains a bad idea–providing instant amnesty, serving as a future illegal alien magnet, and perpetuating inequity:
In this most recent iteration, the DREAM Act authorizes DHS to cancel removal for, or adjust to lawful permanent resident status (in other words, grant amnesty to), an alien who is inadmissible or deportable in cases where the alien demonstrated that he/she:
* has maintained continuous presence in the United States for five years and was not yet 16 years old upon initial entry, but is no older than 30 years of age;
* is of “good moral character” and is not inadmissible or deportable on certain criminal grounds or on the basis of being a risk to national security; and
* has been admitted to an institution of higher education, has attained a high school diploma, or has obtained a GED in the United States.
This ill-conceived proposal, which would grant amnesty to illegal aliens who satisfy these criteria as of enactment, also would be a rolling amnesty drawing more illegal aliens here in the future to apply for amnesty.
More recent versions of the nightmarish DREAM Act have made two notable changes from earlier attempts: (1) a provision repealing existing statutory provisions barring illegal aliens from being eligible for in-state tuition unless a U.S. citizen or legal resident is eligible regardless of state residence has been removed; and (2) the age limit for amnesty applicants has been added.
This latter revision would narrow, but would not close, a gaping loophole in this amnesty because any illegal alien up to age 30 can still walk into any U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office, declare that he is eligible, and be granted amnesty with minimal documentation of eligibility. That 30-year-old could claim that he illegally entered the United States when he was 15, but there is no requirement that the alien prove that he entered the United States at the claimed time by providing particular documents. The proposal would merely require him to “demonstrate” that he is eligible, which in practice could mean simply making a sworn statement to that effect. Thus, it would be an invitation for just about every illegal alien 30 and under to fraudulently claim the amnesty.
In addition, the alien then would have six years to adjust his status from a conditional green card holder to a non-conditional one. To do so, he would need only to complete two years of study at an institution of higher education, including any vocational school. If, at that point, the alien had already completed two years of study, he could adjust to non-conditional status immediately (and use his green card as a platform to sponsor parents and other family members). As an alternative to two years of study, he could enlist in the U.S. military (or any other of the “uniformed services,” such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or Public Health Service) for two years. (Note: This was the provision that allowed Durbin to claim that the DREAM Act was somehow germane to the DoD authorization bill.)
An illegal alien who applies for this nightmare of an amnesty would be allowed to count his years under “conditional” green card status toward the five years needed for citizenship. On top of that, the illegal alien could claim “retroactive benefits” and start the clock running the day that the DREAM Act is enacted. In combination, these two provisions would put illegal aliens on a high-speed track to U.S. citizenship, moving from illegal alien to U.S. citizen in as little as five years. Lawfully-present aliens, meanwhile, would have to continue to follow a slower path to citizenship.
Call your rep!
Capitol switchboard – 202-224-3121.