Question about the DREAM Act
This question is part of the Stop Amnesty Challenge. See that page for the details on the Challenge.
This is an advanced question that will require you getting into a brief debate with the politician. It may also involve you questioning their loyalty to their fellow citizens. If you're willing and able to do that, please use this question.
The question is for any politician that supports a national DREAM Act bill. There have been different versions of that bill and there are also state versions. This question is appropriate for all varieties, but it's best to restrict it to those who support the national bill to avoid getting tied up in technicalities.
This question will almost assuredly require you to interrupt the politician's answer, so if you aren't willing or able to do that please choose another question. If the previous questions at the event you're attending have involved back and forth questions and responses, then ask this question. However, if you only get to ask the question and the politician would cut off your reply, don't ask this question (unless you have someone there who can ask the followup).
Here's the question:
I'd like to ask about the DREAM Act. That bill is meant for the benefit of some younger illegal aliens, the so-called "DREAMers". You supported that bill in .
One of the hidden downsides of any DREAM Act program is that it would let the DREAMers admitted into the program deprive some Americans of the college educations they want.
A top college can only accept so many students per year, and top colleges will always have more applicants than available slots. If that college gives a slot to a DREAMer, that means a U.S. citizen lost out on that slot. College resources are finite and in much demand. Giving some of those resources to DREAMers deprives Americans of those same resources. That's very simple math that I could illustrate if necessary.
What would you say to a U.S. citizen who can't go to the college they want - or who can't go to college at all - because of the bill you support?
These are the notes on the question, including possible follow-ups:
- Print out proof that the politician supported the DREAM Act, and replace "" with the year of their support or similar. For Obama, you'd only need to say "You support the DREAM Act". For Dick Durbin, say something like "The DREAM Act is one of your key pieces of legislation". Other politicians might just have co-sponsored one version of the DREAM Act so for them use the year.
- If the politician tries to go into the minutae of some specific DREAM Act version, interrupt them and point out that you're talking about what any version of the DREAM Act would do. All versions - national and state - would have the impact of taking college resources from some Americans to give to DREAMers.
- The politician might try to take advantage of "temporal ambiguity" in the question or any follow-ups. The DREAM Act is meant to be used by those who are currently illegal aliens. However, once admitted into the program they may no longer be illegal aliens. The question and the follow-ups aren't legal documents so it's hard to be 100% precise about what status someone has when. If the politician tries this trick, make it clear that they're playing a trick. Say something like "Surely you don't deny that the DREAM Act is meant for use by those who are called 'DREAMers' as I said, and surely you don't deny that those DREAMers are now illegal aliens as I said. Under different versions of the DREAM Act they may have some form of legal status after being admitted into the program, but surely you can't deny that DREAMers are currently illegal aliens? Your attempt to imagine temporal ambiguities is noted, but I think the impact on Americans of the DREAM Act is far more important. The DREAM Act would let those covered by it deprive some citizens of the college educations they want or deprive some citizens of college educations entirely. What would you say to an American harmed by what you support?"
- If the politician disputes that the DREAM Act would have that impact (very likely), then illustrate the video on the DREAM Act page using whatever means works best for you. That could be some form of velcro board, your hands, or the seats in the auditorium. For instance: "Think of college slots like the seats in this auditorium. Just like college slots, there are only a finite number of seats in this auditorium. Let's say all the seats are filled except for one. Two people want the last seat. One of those people is a U.S. citizen, the other is a foreign citizen who's here illegally. What you'd do with the DREAM Act is like giving the last seat to the foreign citizen and leaving the U.S. standing outside in the hall." If there are empty seats in the auditorium and the politician tries to make a point of that, ask them to name a single top college that doesn't have more qualified applicants than slots. (For instance, for the Class of 2012, around 27,000 applied to Harvard and less than 2000 were admitted.)
- If the politician still disputes the impact, say something like: "OK, let me try to explain it this way. Do you dispute that Harvard can only accept so many students per year? Do you dispute that their top applicants are very similar, in that they'd have very similar SAT scores, very similar extracurricular activities, etc.? With Harvard, you'll end up with very similar candidates chasing after a limited number of slots. If Harvard chooses an illegal alien over a U.S. citizen, they'll have rejected a U.S. citizen applicant with very similar - perhaps identical - qualifications to the illegal alien. Your support of the DREAM Act shows that you think it's acceptable to reject the U.S. citizen in such cases. I don't think it's acceptable. I hope most Americans have the patriotism to disagree with your position." Obviously, the politician isn't going to react well to having their patriotism questioned, and some audience members might feel sympathetic to them. Personally, I'd attempt to drive the point about their lack of patriotism home to the greatest extent possible, but please adapt your actions to the situation.
- If the politician presents U.S. citizens competing with foreign citizens as a good thing, say something like: "I commend you for the bravery of taking a very globalist position and not putting the interests of your fellow citizens ahead of the interests of foreign citizens. However, where would you stop? To be consistent with your globalist ideals, shouldn't we open the entire U.S. educational system - something mostly paid for by Americans - to the entire world, letting any foreign citizen anywhere compete against Americans in our own educational system? What about the entire U.S. labor market? Shouldn't we open that as well? Perhaps we could allow, say, foreign politicians to run in our own elections. Perhaps we could allow the world to vote in U.S. elections too. Perhaps we could just abolish citizenship entirely, since it apparently doesn't mean anything to you." As with the preceding, I'd drive their lack of patriotism home as much as I could. If you aren't willing to do that or think it wouldn't work, offer a reduced version. If you can make the same point in a more subtle way, do so.
- If the politician says something like "those undocumented students are here already and this is the only country they know so we must educate them", say something like: "You're offering a false choice. I don't know whether you're intentionally trying to deceive or what, but we don't have to choose between either college educations for DREAMers or not educating them. Another option is some form of repatriation program. Many countries offer free or low-cost college educations, and those DREAMers could take advantage of those programs in their own countries. That would help build up the middle class in their countries, rather than the current situation where we braindrain those countries. That would also free up slots for struggling Americans who want to go to college. Why didn't you mention that option?"
- If the politician praises DREAMers, point out that every single thing they say about those illegal aliens applies to the U.S. citizens who'd be hurt by the bill: for every sympathetic former illegal alien who'd be helped, there's a sympathetic U.S. citizen who'd be hurt. If they say the U.S. needs DREAMers, say that Mexico and other countries need them more. Ask them why they don't care for those they've been elected to represent. If educating a DREAMer would be a benefit to the U.S., so would educating the American they displaced.
- If the politician says there are so few people who'd be covered by the DREAM Act that it wouldn't matter, say something like "So, you support depriving some Americans of college, but it's OK because only a small number of Americans will be harmed?"
- If the politician says we can always build new schools, say something like "I can't believe that's your position. You'd have your fellow citizens shunted down into lesser schools than they're qualified for in order to give educations to citizens of other countries. If Harvard rejects a highly-qualified American for an illegal alien, you think it's OK that that American goes to a lower-quality school and on down the line. If a highly-qualified American can't go to the University of California because UC gave the slot to a DREAMer, you'd have the American go to Cal State and so on. If an American applies for a Harvard slot and is rejected over an equally-qualified DREAMer, what would you have the American do?"