The DREAM Act, which passed the House last night, is scheduled for a vote in the Senate today. The odds are supposedly against passage, but this is another one of those statist brass rings some Democrats might be willing to risk their careers to grab, especially since many of them are pretty much doomed in 2012 anyway.
“Democrats face an uphill climb to gather the 60 votes needed in a vote expected Thursday to advance the so-called DREAM Act over opposition by most Republicans and a handful of their own members,” according to the Associated Press. I wouldn’t take anything for granted. The pressure for passage from illegal alien advocates will be intense, and the reward is a huge population of freshly-minted Democrat voters.
For example, Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) has said Hispanics will essentially bolt the Democrat Party if they don’t get the DREAM Act. He was quoted in a November 29 Newsweek article as saying, “I have only one loyalty, and that’s to the immigrant community.” Gutierrez has been ranked by the Pew Research Center as the second-most important Latino leader in the country. I’m sure his newly legalized constituency will be just as dedicated to America as he is. They are, by definition, comfortable with ignoring laws they don’t like.
The growing threat from the Hispanic community is to form their own “Tea Party,” which activists have been dubbing “the Tequila Party.” Their meetings would probably be packed with a large number of Caucasians entirely confused about the purpose of the organization, and annoying the heck out of the activists by ordering shots and asking if they’ve got change for a twenty. In the end, it’s unlikely Hispanic community organizers would dilute their influence by divorcing themselves from the Democrat power structure, but the threat is plausible enough to rattle some fence-sitters. Does anyone think Gutierrez wasn’t being honest about where his loyalty lies?
Much of the argument in favor of the DREAM Act revolves around accepting the inevitability of an illegal alien presence. For example, in explaining his incredible description of illegal aliens as “de facto Americans,” Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) said:
“Those who oppose the DREAM Act support the ongoing presence of over 500,000 more illegal immigrants within our borders. Opponents of the DREAM act make a travesty of the rule of the law and facilitate the ongoing presence of undocumented foreign nationals inside our country, which so frustrates our states and cities.”
In other words, insisting on adherence to the law makes a “travesty of the rule of law.” The sensible approach is to change the law, so the huge population of lawbreakers are magically transformed into law-abiding citizens. Just declare them legal, and you won’t have an “illegal alien problem” any more!
One problem with this line of thinking: the DREAM Act ostensibly applies only to a narrow subset of illegal aliens, specifically young people in high school and college. We can’t really deport their families while they’re in school, can we? And what about childless illegal aliens? Aren’t they “de facto Americans” too? The DREAM Act includes absolutely no provisions for reducing the flow of illegals across the border, and will in fact give them more of an incentive to enter the United States. Don’t they become “de facto Americans” as soon as they arrive? Or does “de facto” status only accrue once an illegal entrant has stood on American soil for a certain period of time? Does Rep. Polis have a minimum interval in mind, and if so, has he discussed it with Luis Gutierrez? Is de facto-ness only available to illegal aliens of South American descent?
Even if the Senate passed the DREAM Act today, nothing would be “resolved.” It would just be another step in a long process that can only reach its logical conclusion with the complete erasure of the American border. There are reasons that border exists. Every nation has the right to decide who to invite within its borders, and the United States has never been shy about issuing plenty of invitations.
There is already a two-step “path to citizenship” available to every single illegal alien who is not a violent criminal: (1) return to your country of origin, (2) apply for citizenship and await the results. Instead of blowing billions on the DREAM Act, we should invest in streamlining the appalling procedure for legal immigration, which every legal immigrant of my acquaintance cringes when discussing. We should also insist on a Congress composed entirely of people whose “only loyalty” is to the United States of America.