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Unpresidential: Whitehouse.gov promotes, misleads about anti-American DREAM Act (Stephanie Valencia)

The White House blog has a completely unpresidential post called "10 Reasons We Need The DREAM Act" [1] in which staffer Stephanie Valencia [2] promotes - and misleads about - the anti-American DREAM Act. That bill would let the illegal aliens covered by it take college educations away from U.S. citizens and, depending on the version, would allow states to give some illegal aliens a better college tuition rate than some U.S. citizens.

Needless to say, Valencia doesn't reveal that and the other downsides to her readers. Her blog post is similar to misleading blog posts from utter hacks such as Andrea Nill of ThinkProgress. It doesn't even rise to the level of better-quality propaganda such as might be found from professional immigration boosters like Frank Sharry, the National Immigration Forum, Tamar Jacoby, or the like. Not even being able to rise to their low level is not in any way something that should be found at whitehouse dot gov.

And, of course, Valencia is using U.S. resources to promote policies that will harm U.S. citizens. The White House is, instead of promoting policies that help Americans, promoting policies that help foreign citizens at the expense of American citizens.

Here are some of the ways the White House is misleading or engaging in disreputable behavior:

1. Valencia falsely says that the DREAM Act is "limited", when it could cover one to two million people; the upper age limit is 29 to 35 depending on the bill version. And, for those versions that allow states to give better tuition rates to illegal aliens, it would affect all the illegal aliens in that state who could go to college, whether they were admitted to the DREAM Act or not. So, in no way is it "limited".

2. Valencia falsely states that the DREAM Act "will allow only the best and brightest to earn their legal status". The requirements to obtain conditional legal status under the DREAM Act are minimal, as are the requirements to then adjust to the next status (lawful permanent resident). While DREAM Act supporters love to trot out valedictorians and other outstanding students, there are no restrictions that would cause anyone to think that only the "best and brightest" could get either conditional or LPR status.

3. Valencia falsely states that the DREAM Act "applies to those brought to the United States as minors through no fault of their own by their parents, and who know no other home". There are no such requirements in any of the bills. Applicants just have to have come here before they were 16 years old. There are no requirements that their parents brought them here; some illegal aliens enter as older children. There are no requirements that they have to "know no other home" other than having been in the U.S. for the past five years. In other words, someone who's 35 years old would have to have spent the last five years here but could have spent the past decade before then in another country.

4. Four of Valencia's ten reasons are just anecdotal evidence based on four outstanding students who might be covered by the DREAM Act. There are, as stated above, around one to two million more students who'd be covered, and most of those are not going to be as outstanding. The use of such anecdotes are logical fallacies: she's not only using a small number of cherry-picked cases, but she's trying to appeal to Americans' emotions rather than reason. It's unbecoming of the White House to engage in such tactics and promote what amounts to PIIPP articles (see that link for the definition and examples).

5. Reason #1 is:

Like Ginkgo Biloba, It’ll Make Us Smarter: Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has stated that passing the DREAM Act will "play an important part in the nation’s efforts to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020," something vital for America to remain competitive in today’s global economy.

First, most of those admitted to the DREAM Act will be Hispanics and, while there are certainly many exceptions, they have lower educational attainment than students from other groups. That could certainly change, but based on past statistics it's an indisputable fact. Further, Americans are already being turned away from college. Instead of helping that situation, the DREAM Act will cause even more competition for scarce educational resources and will prevent many American citizens from attending college (or will force them to attend schools that weren't their first choice). And, not all of that competition will be based on merit: there's nothing in the DREAM Act prohibiting those covered by it from also being covered by various affirmative action programs of various types.

6. Reason #3 is:

Uncle Sam Says, The DREAM Act supports our troops: Secretary of Defense Gates has written to DREAM Act sponsors citing the rich precedent of non-citizens serving in the U.S. military and stating that “the DREAM Act represents an opportunity to expand [the recruiting] pool, to the advantage of military recruiting and readiness.

There were just about 35,000 foreign citizens in the military as of last year [3]. Greatly increasing that number might lead to something more approaching a French Foreign Legion, and that's not where we want to go. Another place we don't want to go is to have members of the military who just joined to get their citizenship rather than to serve their country. Further, most of those signing up will be only have Spanish as an additional language rather than a language that's more vital to the military's mission. And, some of those who join will have divided loyalties.

7. Reason #5 is:

It Helps Separate The Bad Guys From The Good Guys: (Secretary Janet Napolitano) believes this targeted legislation provides a firm but fair way to deal with innocent children brought to the U.S. at a young age so that the Department of Homeland Security can dedicate their enforcement resources to detaining and deporting criminals and those who pose a threat to our country.

That's a dodge for her lack of interest in enforcing our immigration laws. Napolitano would continue to do what she's been doing since the start of her tenure: send the message that as long as illegal aliens stay clear of committing major crimes she won't try to deport them. And, Napolitano and the DHS haven't asked for more resources to do the job they should be doing.

8. Reason #7:

It’s Bipartisan: The DREAM Act is a bipartisan piece of legislation designed to stop punishing innocent young people for the actions of their parents by giving them the chance to obtain legal status by pursuing a higher education, or by serving in the U.S. armed forces for the country they've grown up in and love as their own.

The DREAM Act was co-authored by Democrats and Republicans and has been supported by a small number of Republicans. So, it's "bipartisan" in that sense. However, many Republican politicians oppose it, and (misleading immigration polls aside) most of the Republican base opposes it. In fact, the great majority of Americans would oppose it if they were informed of its negative impact on their fellow citizens.

9. Reason #9:

It Will Help Our Economy: According to a recent UCLA study, students that would be impacted by the DREAM Act could add between $1.4 to $3.6 trillion in taxable income to our economy over the course of careers, depending on how many ultimately gain legal status. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the DREAM Act in its current form will cut the deficit by $1.4 billion and increase government revenues by $2.3 billion over the next 10 years.

The deficit reduction amounts to about 0.001% a year, and there'd be a charge of billions of dollars as those covered begin to retire.

The author of the UCLA study is Raul Hinojosa [4]. I haven't reviewed his study, but based on [4] and the fact that he was trying to start a company to offer illegal aliens a debit card to help them send money out of the country easier I don't think he's too much of a credible source. His study at the high end would have those covered by the DREAM Act earning $100 billion per year (spread over 40 years), meaning that each would need to consistently earn $50,000 per year (if there are two million illegal aliens involved) to $100,000 (if there are one million illegal aliens involved). Those are truly fantastical figures considering that not all those covered by the DREAM Act would even graduate from college much less obtain high-paying jobs.

10. Valencia finishes with this childlike "reason":

It’s The Right Thing To Do: It’s just plain common sense and it’s the right thing to do.

Actually, braindraining Third World countries - as the DREAM Act would do - isn't the right thing to do. Harming U.S. citizens - those the White House is supposed to represent - isn't the right thing to do. The White House and Congress are supposed to come up with workable, pro-American solutions, and one of those would be some sort of repatriation program so that illegal aliens can get educations in their own countries and help those countries grow. At the same time, they'd be prevented from harming U.S. citizens by taking their college educations away.

The White House under Barack Obama is as much on the wrong side and opposed to U.S. interests as it was under George W Bush.

-----------
[1] whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/12/03/10-reasons-we-need-dream-act
[2] She's "an Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement".
[3] boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/03/01/
foreigners_answer_call_to_us_service/
[4] He's "an associate professor in UCLA's Cesar E. Chavez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies and director of the North American Integration and Development (NAID) Center at UCLA".The White House blog has a completely unpresidential post called "10 Reasons We Need The DREAM Act" [1] in which staffer Stephanie Valencia [2] promotes - and misleads about - the anti-American DREAM Act. That bill would let the illegal aliens covered by it take college educations away from U.S. citizens and, depending on the version, would allow states to give some illegal aliens a better college tuition rate than some U.S. citizens.

Needless to say, Valencia doesn't reveal that and the other downsides to her readers. Her blog post is similar to misleading blog posts from utter hacks such as Andrea Nill of ThinkProgress. It doesn't even rise to the level of better-quality propaganda such as might be found from professional immigration boosters like Frank Sharry, the National Immigration Forum, Tamar Jacoby, or the like. Not even being able to rise to their low level is not in any way something that should be found at whitehouse dot gov.

And, of course, Valencia is using U.S. resources to promote policies that will harm U.S. citizens. The White House is, instead of promoting policies that help Americans, promoting policies that help foreign citizens at the expense of American citizens.

Here are some of the ways the White House is misleading or engaging in disreputable behavior:

1. Valencia falsely says that the DREAM Act is "limited", when it could cover one to two million people; the upper age limit is 29 to 35 depending on the bill version. And, for those versions that allow states to give better tuition rates to illegal aliens, it would affect all the illegal aliens in that state who could go to college, whether they were admitted to the DREAM Act or not. So, in no way is it "limited".

2. Valencia falsely states that the DREAM Act "will allow only the best and brightest to earn their legal status". The requirements to obtain conditional legal status under the DREAM Act are minimal, as are the requirements to then adjust to the next status (lawful permanent resident). While DREAM Act supporters love to trot out valedictorians and other outstanding students, there are no restrictions that would cause anyone to think that only the "best and brightest" could get either conditional or LPR status.

3. Valencia falsely states that the DREAM Act "applies to those brought to the United States as minors through no fault of their own by their parents, and who know no other home". There are no such requirements in any of the bills. Applicants just have to have come here before they were 16 years old. There are no requirements that their parents brought them here; some illegal aliens enter as older children. There are no requirements that they have to "know no other home" other than having been in the U.S. for the past five years. In other words, someone who's 35 years old would have to have spent the last five years here but could have spent the past decade before then in another country.

4. Four of Valencia's ten reasons are just anecdotal evidence based on four outstanding students who might be covered by the DREAM Act. There are, as stated above, around one to two million more students who'd be covered, and most of those are not going to be as outstanding. The use of such anecdotes are logical fallacies: she's not only using a small number of cherry-picked cases, but she's trying to appeal to Americans' emotions rather than reason. It's unbecoming of the White House to engage in such tactics and promote what amounts to PIIPP articles (see that link for the definition and examples).

5. Reason #1 is:

Like Ginkgo Biloba, It’ll Make Us Smarter: Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has stated that passing the DREAM Act will "play an important part in the nation’s efforts to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020," something vital for America to remain competitive in today’s global economy.

First, most of those admitted to the DREAM Act will be Hispanics and, while there are certainly many exceptions, they have lower educational attainment than students from other groups. That could certainly change, but based on past statistics it's an indisputable fact. Further, Americans are already being turned away from college. Instead of helping that situation, the DREAM Act will cause even more competition for scarce educational resources and will prevent many American citizens from attending college (or will force them to attend schools that weren't their first choice). And, not all of that competition will be based on merit: there's nothing in the DREAM Act prohibiting those covered by it from also being covered by various affirmative action programs of various types.

6. Reason #3 is:

Uncle Sam Says, The DREAM Act supports our troops: Secretary of Defense Gates has written to DREAM Act sponsors citing the rich precedent of non-citizens serving in the U.S. military and stating that “the DREAM Act represents an opportunity to expand [the recruiting] pool, to the advantage of military recruiting and readiness.

There were just about 35,000 foreign citizens in the military as of last year [3]. Greatly increasing that number might lead to something more approaching a French Foreign Legion, and that's not where we want to go. Another place we don't want to go is to have members of the military who just joined to get their citizenship rather than to serve their country. Further, most of those signing up will be only have Spanish as an additional language rather than a language that's more vital to the military's mission. And, some of those who join will have divided loyalties.

7. Reason #5 is:

It Helps Separate The Bad Guys From The Good Guys: (Secretary Janet Napolitano) believes this targeted legislation provides a firm but fair way to deal with innocent children brought to the U.S. at a young age so that the Department of Homeland Security can dedicate their enforcement resources to detaining and deporting criminals and those who pose a threat to our country.

That's a dodge for her lack of interest in enforcing our immigration laws. Napolitano would continue to do what she's been doing since the start of her tenure: send the message that as long as illegal aliens stay clear of committing major crimes she won't try to deport them. And, Napolitano and the DHS haven't asked for more resources to do the job they should be doing.

8. Reason #7:

It’s Bipartisan: The DREAM Act is a bipartisan piece of legislation designed to stop punishing innocent young people for the actions of their parents by giving them the chance to obtain legal status by pursuing a higher education, or by serving in the U.S. armed forces for the country they've grown up in and love as their own.

The DREAM Act was co-authored by Democrats and Republicans and has been supported by a small number of Republicans. So, it's "bipartisan" in that sense. However, many Republican politicians oppose it, and (misleading immigration polls aside) most of the Republican base opposes it. In fact, the great majority of Americans would oppose it if they were informed of its negative impact on their fellow citizens.

9. Reason #9:

It Will Help Our Economy: According to a recent UCLA study, students that would be impacted by the DREAM Act could add between $1.4 to $3.6 trillion in taxable income to our economy over the course of careers, depending on how many ultimately gain legal status. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the DREAM Act in its current form will cut the deficit by $1.4 billion and increase government revenues by $2.3 billion over the next 10 years.

The deficit reduction amounts to about 0.001% a year, and there'd be a charge of billions of dollars as those covered begin to retire.

The author of the UCLA study is Raul Hinojosa [4]. I haven't reviewed his study, but based on [4] and the fact that he was trying to start a company to offer illegal aliens a debit card to help them send money out of the country easier I don't think he's too much of a credible source. His study at the high end would have those covered by the DREAM Act earning $100 billion per year (spread over 40 years), meaning that each would need to consistently earn $50,000 per year (if there are two million illegal aliens involved) to $100,000 (if there are one million illegal aliens involved). Those are truly fantastical figures considering that not all those covered by the DREAM Act would even graduate from college much less obtain high-paying jobs.

10. Valencia finishes with this childlike "reason":

It’s The Right Thing To Do: It’s just plain common sense and it’s the right thing to do.

Actually, braindraining Third World countries - as the DREAM Act would do - isn't the right thing to do. Harming U.S. citizens - those the White House is supposed to represent - isn't the right thing to do. The White House and Congress are supposed to come up with workable, pro-American solutions, and one of those would be some sort of repatriation program so that illegal aliens can get educations in their own countries and help those countries grow. At the same time, they'd be prevented from harming U.S. citizens by taking their college educations away.

The White House under Barack Obama is as much on the wrong side and opposed to U.S. interests as it was under George W Bush.

-----------
[1] whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/12/03/10-reasons-we-need-dream-act
[2] She's "an Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement".
[3] boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/03/01/
foreigners_answer_call_to_us_service/
[4] He's "an associate professor in UCLA's Cesar E. Chavez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies and director of the North American Integration and Development (NAID) Center at UCLA".

Fri, 12/03/2010 - 22:04 · Importance: 6