It’s customary to call the final session of Congress the “lame duck” session, but this one is starting to look more like a zombie movie. Every time something is pronounced “dead,” it rises again, and starts creeping up behind us.
The most dangerous zombie still staggering around is the DREAM Act, a bill to grant amnesty to millions of illegal alien students, and eventually their families. Michelle Malkin, who has spent years shoving furniture in front of the doors and loading her shotgun to fight off this particular species of deathless menace, has been running “Operation Buck Up” to keep an eye on it this week. The Hill summarizes the devious strategy designed to help it slip past our defenses:
“When House Democrats last week passed the DREAM Act before the Senate had staged its vote, the timing was no accident. Instead, the chronology was part of a carefully designed strategy — orchestrated, with some tension, between the two chambers — to grant the proposal its greatest shot at success. The fast-evolving process required behind-the-scenes scheduling changes; an 11th hour hearing; constant lobbying from supporters; and a risky-but-successful show of procedural gymnastics in the Senate — all aimed at lending momentum to the hot-button bill in hopes of enacting it by month’s end.”
That’s some open, transparent, and representative Congress we’ve got there, isn’t it? I prefer slow zombies to fast zombies, but I really hate the ones that do gymnastics.
The “buck up” part of the resistance involves letting Republicans know you expect them to stand fast. If you live in the district of a Democrat who’s been bleating about the deficit during the tax debate, you could try reminding them the DREAM Act will slap at least another $5 billion onto the deficit.
We really have two distinct immigration problems: a large population of illegals already here, and a tidal wave of new illegals surging across the border. You can’t eliminate the first problem by magically declaring all those people “legal,” in a process that penalizes anyone foolish enough to follow the rules and enter the country properly. The net result is a very costly incentive for more illegal immigration, making the second problem even worse.
Illegal populations thin out on their own when immigration laws are enforced with fairness and consistency. This has been demonstrated time and again. Reversing this process will reverse the results: reward illegal entry to the country, and you will get more of it. Nothing about this reasoning is strange or complicated, and vast majorities of Americans – 60% to 70% in most polls – agree with it.
Look at the news from the border recently: a wave of violence culminating in the murder of Border Patrol office Brian Terry earlier this week. If we’re going to spend five billion dollars, we should use it to secure the border – providing a not inconsiderable benefit to the safety of Mexicans who continue to live on the southern side. The last thing we need, in the frenzied final days of the worst Congress in recent memory, is a bill that reduces the value of our citizenship.
The people who apply for citizenship the right way, suffering through a process that could use a lot of streamlining, may have the best understanding of how precious it is. Anyone who shares their appreciation should keep a close eye on Congress this weekend. Saturday is said to be the big night.