dream act

The Dream Act

The DREAM Act is an openly anti-American federal bill that would let those illegal aliens covered by it take college educations away from U.S. citizens. If the Act passes, some Americans would not be able to attend college.

The DREAM Act ("DA", full title: "Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act") would grant a conditional amnesty to large numbers of illegal aliens (some estimate as many as one or two million, 2007 link). After a certain time period and under various conditions, those in conditional status could convert to full Lawful Permanent Resident status ("LPR", "green card") and could then, pursuant to current rules, seek to become a citizen ("naturalization").

This video illustrates the general process by which legislation like the DREAM Act lets illegal aliens deprive some citizens of college slots or discounts. Specific versions of the DREAM Act or state versions might differ in the details, but they have the same effect of keeping some otherwise eligible citizens out of college.

The DA would - depending on the decisions of various states - allow those covered to attend public universities at the in-state rate. That means that, depending on a state's decision, foreign citizens who were here illegally would pay a better rate than out-of-state U.S. citizens. (It would do that by repealing 8 U.S.C. 1623; a new version of the bill introduced on 11/31/10 by Dick Durbin apparently doesn't include that repeal. So, as of 12/01/10 it would be best to say it *might* let states decide to give illegal aliens a better rate, depending on the actual final legislation if any. See also #3 here; that section has rarely if ever been enforced.)

College educations and discounts are a finite resource, and there will always be more demand for those slots and discounts than there are slots and discounts that are available. The mathematics of that are inescapable: any slot or discount given to someone covered by the DA is one that's taken away from a U.S. citizen. See this video for an illustration of the process.

Whatever various states decide and whatever the provisions of the various versions of the DA, it would have the impact of letting those conditionally-legalized illegal aliens who'd be covered by the bill take college educations away from Americans. Any American who supports it is turning their back on their fellow citizens.

Further, the DA would provide yet another incentive for illegal immigration. Millions of prospective illegal aliens around the world would see the DA as a message that they can bring their children here illegally and the U.S. will provide for them.

The best way to fight this and similar laws is to go to the public appearance of a politician who supports the law and ask them one of the following questions:

Long form:

You support the DREAM Act, which - depending on the state - would let those covered under the bill go to college at the in-state rate. However, both college slots and discounts are a finite resource, and there will always be more applicants than there are slots and discounts that are available. That means that those covered under the bill you support would be able to take college slots - and possibly discounts - away from U.S. citizens. In other words, because of the bill you support, illegal aliens who'd be covered by the bill would be able to keep some U.S. citizens from going to college. What would you say to a U.S. citizen who can't go to college because of the bill you support?

Short form:

You support the DREAM Act, which would have the impact of letting newly-legalized illegal aliens take college educations away from U.S. citizens. What would you say to a U.S. citizen who can't go to college because of the bill you support?

Then, upload video of the exchange to video sharing sites and publicize it. An experienced questioner - such as a trial lawyer - vigorously pressing a politician on that question could garner hundreds of thousands of views on sites like Youtube.

In any case, the questioner has to be prepared to answer objections and show how they're wrong. Some objections a politician might come up with include trying to pretend that the bill wouldn't have that effect. In that case, offer your own version of the animation on the video above; talking down to them while doing that could be quite effective.

Another objection they might raise is to discuss how some of those covered under the bill are valedictorians and so on. Ask them to name specific academic standards built into the bill, and most likely they'll be at a loss. For a good way to discredit the politician, ask them if they're saying that all those covered under the bill are exceptional students and better qualified than Americans.

Another common objection is to claim that opponents don't want to educate those covered. In fact, illegal aliens who'd be allowed into the program have other options: they can return to the countries of which they're citizens and seek educations there. In many cases, those educations will be free or low-cost. Many Americans would no doubt support some form of repatriation assistance, provided that strict guidelines were in place to prevent abuse. American citizens who'd be negatively impacted by the DA don't have such options.

An off-the-wall objection you might hear is the claim that we should just build more colleges or expand college capacity. That's cold comfort to an American who was kept from attending Harvard or any other college they wanted to attend. What are those Americans supposed to do in the meantime? Why would those who say such a thing want to force equally-qualified Americans to attend a less prestigious school than they wanted, in order to help foreign citizens who are here illegally? Have they no loyalty to their fellow citizens?

And, here's an even better alternative question for supporters:

Do you agree that the DREAM Act would let those former illegal aliens covered by it take college resources away from U.S. citizens? Once again: I'm only asking for the answer to one question: would the DREAM Act have the impact of taking college resources away from U.S. citizens, yes or no?

There are several possible responses to that question:

1. They could ignore the question. In that case, have someone else ready to point out what they did, and promote the fact that they refused to answer the question.
2. They could say that it does take resources from citizens. In that case, play the crowd and point out who they're supposed to be working for.
3. They could say it doesn't take resources from citizens. In that case, walk them through the very simple math presented above, then ask them if they'll change their minds.
4. They could present U.S. citizens competing with newly-legalized foreign citizens as a good thing. In that case, commend them for their very, very libertarian response, and ask them where they'd stop. To be consistent with their libertarian 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 their 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 any more.
5. They could deflect the question and then try to get sympathy for those newly-legalized illegal aliens who'd get college resources instead of Americans. In that case, 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. Ask them why they don't care for those they've been elected to represent. If you want to be bold, politely suggest they find another line of work and perhaps in a different country.
6. They might say there are so few people who'd be covered by the DREAM Act that it wouldn't matter, or they might say that we can always build new schools or similar. Point out to them that large numbers of Americans are already struggling to go to college and many are simply unable to attend because they don't have the resources and there aren't enough government resources to fill the gap. Ask them why they're trying to give college educations to newly-legalized illegal aliens before every willing and able American is able to attend college.

An argument you can make to those on the left is to point out that those who support the DA are practicing a form of "comfortable colonialism". Instead of raiding countries to obtain resources, those supporters are encouraging the resources - in this case, college-ready people - to come here. By so doing, they're helping to braindrain foreign countries and depriving those countries of the educated people they need. And, DA supporters are also enabling the corrupt elites of sending countries which would prefer an uneducated and malleable populace.

Sidenote: similar laws are already on the books in several states; since states cannot grant amnesty the state versions simply allow current illegal aliens to attend college at the in-state rate. Those with such laws include California and Texas, and they're occasionally referred to using a similar name. Those states who give illegal aliens a better rate than out-of-state citizens are breaking the law, even if the federal government refuses to enforce that law.

The national version of the DA has been supported and/or co-sponsored by, among many others, Barack Obama, John McCain, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, and Hillary Clinton. Various media sources have published an endless series of PIIPPs, "Pro-Illegal Immigration Puff Pieces" that openly advocate for the bill without revealing its downsides.

Last modified Sep 11, 2013
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

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