DREAM Act and Unintended (or Intended) Consequences

The DREAM Act is one of the more complex issues of our time, but unfortunately one that is reduced to over-simplified and unfair categorizations from both sides. You have the pro-amnesty folks accusing anti-DREAM Act people of being “bigots” and “anti-immigrant”. You also have those against illegal immigration calling pro-amnesty folks “anti-American”.

When considering something as complex and conflicting as the DREAM Act, one has to consider its possible effects and ramifications on all sectors of the population. You also have to look at the fairness issue from ALL sides, something the over-simplifiers fail to do.

This post at CatholicVote.org does as good of a job as possible to highlight the reason many good, fair-minded and PRO-immigration people are against the DREAM Act. Not because they’re racist, but because of the unintentional – and intentional – effects:

The DREAM Act would not address the real problems with our immigration system, would exacerbate some already existing problems, and would cause new tensions. The bill has gone through a number of different forms, but they all include some combination of the following significant problems.

It would not make any difference for illegal immigrants who join the military. The laws on the books already expedite their citizenship process.

It would grant in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants. Which means they would get a benefit not afforded to either everyday law-abiding U.S. citizens, or foreign nationals who come on a student visa.

It would forbid law enforcement from using any information in an amnesty application from being used to initiate deportation proceedings. An applicant could lie about his age or any of a number of things, and the fact of his deliberately lying to the federal government could not be counted against him by law enforcement. Again, that’s a luxury not afforded citizens. Try lying on your tax forms next year and see where that gets you.

Everyone has an Opinion…and

One of the great thing about this country is that everyone has a voice and a microphone on which he/she can speak their mind, no matter how lucid or short-sighted their opinion might be. This wonderful fact hit me smack in the face while reading today’s Miami Herald.

First, the Herald’s Pulitzer-winning columnist Leonard Pitts wonders out loud why anyone would be stupid enough to be associated with an honest and influential movement, if sometimes misguided as any human institution can be, such as the Tea Party:

…the more Americans learn about (The Tea Party) movement, the more they dislike it.

That is good news for those who had taken to muttering that famous old axiom about the birthrate of suckers, a hopeful sign for those who had resigned themselves to the fact that they lived in a nation where she who yells the most simplistic thing in the loudest voice wins the debate. It is a godsend for those who were ready to write an epitaph for American intelligence.

Not that one can afford to be sanguine about the fact that “only” one American in three supports the tea party. Still, there is something reassuring in the realization that we have not completely lost our national mind. Yet.

Certainly, Pitts can do better than dismiss Tea Party supporters as stupid without an actual, accurate and detailed explanation about why he thinks so lowly of his fellow Americans. Of course that would require Mr. Pitts being secure about his ideology and showing common decency – both of which are lacking in many of his pieces including today’s.

Then we have a “letter to the editor” (that epitome of American freedom of speech) by a Cuban-American Democrat:

As a Cuban American and a Democrat I can only smile at Cuban exiles who happily vote Republican even though they benefit from programs supported by Democrats.

I wonder what would happen a couple of years from now when, as a result of their Republican friends, their grandmothers lose Social Security or Medicaid benefits and the county closes the nearest fire department or police station.

The answer is their insurance costs would go up, maybe the school nearest their home would close and they would have to drive their kids to another school. Maybe a friend might die because the wait for an ambulance goes to 25 minutes instead of 10. That’s what’s going to happen if everything the Republicans want is enacted. It’ll be like Iran, where they sentence you to death and you have to buy your own bullets.

Jose D. Manzanares De Silva, Bal Harbour

Mr. Manzanares’ letter makes me wonder if he’s been contacted by the DNC about running for political office. After all, he’s got the talking points down to a tee.

God Bless America that folks like Pitts and Manzanares have a platform to speak their minds. Sane and intelligent individuals wouldn’t have it any other way.

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