The DREAM Act was a big story during the lame-duck session of Congress, at the end of last year. It was an amnesty program for illegal immigrants, offering legal status if they merely enrolled in the military, or a two-year college program… where, unlike legal American citizens from other states, they would enjoy in-state tuition rates. Upon attaining a two-year degree, the illegal alien would instantly become a legal citizen, and the “back door” would swing open for his parents.
The cost of offering this fabulous offer to immigration scofflaws would have been upwards of $20 billion dollars – and that’s before the inevitable mutation and expansion through lawsuits, or the next wave of illegal aliens demanding DREAM Act II.
The Act achieved passage in the House, controlled by Democrats at the time, but was defeated in the Senate, coming up five votes short of passage. The Democrats have been trying to revive it, but since they lost the House in a landslide last year, they have little chance of success.
But that doesn’t really matter, because your wise and benevolent rulers in the Obama Administration have decided to impose the DREAM Act by fiat anyway. Democracy cannot be allowed to stand in the way of such an important agenda.
The Administration recently released an Immigration and Customs Enforcement memo that instructs attorneys to consider DREAM Act conditions when deciding whether to ignore violations of immigration law. (It’s funny how the same people who issue lists of reasons to avoid enforcing immigration laws complain incessantly about how ineffective they are.) Among these conditions are arriving in the United States as a child, pursuing an education, or serving in the military.
Appearing at a Senate hearing yesterday, Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano issued the standard government defense against her failure to enforce immigration law: claiming she doesn’t have enough money. Our $3.6 trillion government is somehow filled with paupers.
“We have provided information about what it would take to do removal of everyone in the country. It’s obvious that those resources aren’t available, and when you’re talking about DREAM Act students, it really doesn’t make sense,” Napolitano maintained… while simultaneously denying “that the recent ICE memo was being used to get around the failure of Congress to pass the DREAM Act,” according to Fox News.
If there’s going to be another Alice In Wonderland film, I think we have our Red Queen.
Pressed by the exasperated Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) for how much of a budget she’d need to actually do her job, Napolitano refused to answer. She also refused to say whether the Administration would support amendments to the DREAM Act that would deny amnesty to aliens convicted of misdemeanors, such as drunk driving, drug possession, and assault, or those guilty of committing voter fraud. It would still be a horrible idea with such amendments, but at least it would be slightly less ridiculous.
Back in December, when the Administration was trying to ram the original DREAM Act through Congress, Napolitano claimed it would enhance border security by allowing ICE and Homeland Security to focus on criminal aliens. “What doesn’t make as much sense is the idea of spending our enforcement resources to prosecute young people who have no criminal records, who were brought here through no fault of their own so they have no individual culpability, and who now want to go to college or serve in our armed forces,” she said at the time.
Now she says it doesn’t make sense to deport anyone who might be covered by the DREAM Act, because it will inevitably pass, sooner or later, no matter what votes our elected representatives pass. It’s remarkable how many of her duties she thinks should be ignored, because it doesn’t make sense to perform them.
Meanwhile, the Administration gives us a massive new soon-to-be-unionized TSA that forces elderly, dying women to remove their incontinence diapers. Cornyn should have asked her how much it would cost to hire enough unionized agents to enforce our immigration laws, and checked to see if we could get the money by defunding the Environmental Protection Agency. As long as we’re sending millions of dollars to China to help study methane emissions, no one connected with the federal government should be allowed to complain about insufficient funding to perform their essential duties.