Shikha Dalmia misleads again, promotes anti-American DREAM Act

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Shikha Dalmia of Forbes and Reason Magazine is misleading about immigration yet again, this time about the anti-American DREAM Act ("DA"). That bill was recently blocked in the Senate, but if passed it would have allowed those current illegal aliens covered by it to take college educations away from U.S. citizens. Needless to say, Dalmia strongly supports that anti-American bill and is willing to mislead to do it.

She writes [1]:

[Republicans] called the Dream Act – yawn! – amnesty, an accusation that Democrats deny. They shouldn’t. The Act, which would give children of illegal aliens who sign up for military service or obtain a college education a shot at citizenship, is amnesty. And there is nothing wrong with it.

1. The DA isn't for the "children of illegal aliens" as she states. It's for "children" who are themselves illegal aliens, irrespective of the status(es) of their parents.
2. The DA covers "children" as old as 35 years old; Shika Dalmia didn't tell her readers that.
3. If someone thinks there's "nothing wrong" with a bill that lets the current illegal aliens covered by it take college away from U.S. citizens, then they're siding with foreign citizens against the best interests of their fellow citizens.


In an age when everyone is vying for victimhood status, the Dream Act youth are among the few who are genuine victims. Their predicament is truly not their fault. They had no say in being brought to this country illegally. Many of them have no ties left to their home country, don’t speak its language, and don’t know its ways. They are in a legal no-man’s land, having built a hearth in a country where they don’t have an official home. Giving them legal status would be an easy call for anyone of goodwill - even those who want to slam the door shut on everyone else. Indeed, extending amnesty to children of undocumented aliens is not all that different from extending it to people fleeing persecution, something that our – and every free – country does.

1. She's misleading about the specifics of the bill, because some or most of those who would be covered would in fact have had knowledge of and perhaps control over being brought to the U.S. From this: "under the DREAM Act an illegal alien simply must claim that he or she entered the United States sometime before reaching the age of 16; the standard of proof required by the government is unclear and it should raise concerns of fraud as most illegal aliens enter clandestinely and off the record".
2. Dalmia misleads again: those would would be covered aren't in a "legal no-man’s land". They're citizens of their home countries, and simply being brought to the U.S. illegally doesn't change that. She's implying their stateless, when that's not the case.
3. And, of course, there's a huge difference between almost all illegal aliens and true refugees. Mexico and Central America have not yet reached the level of war-torn African countries.


But restrictionists have blinded themselves to all humanitarian considerations, regurgitating bogus talking points till they acquire an air of plausability. For example, they point out that the Dream Act would allow these children to pay in-state tuition in college, something that out-of-state American kids don’t get. But the reason that it is fair to extend the in-state rate to these kids and not others is that their parents for years have contributed to their state’s public colleges through sales, property and even income taxes.

Dalmia is being openly anti-American with this paragraph. She's stating that it's acceptable to give illegal aliens a better rate than citizens. That undercuts the very idea of citizenship itself. Next to that, the fact that the parents of those covered by the DA will have most likely paid minimal taxes is a minor matter.


Even more fallacious is the restrictionist argument that legalizing these kids will only encourage more illegal immigration. This sounds like an open admission that they have no intention of fixing the country’s broken immigration system, the root cause of the problem. The reason poor, unskilled aliens have to sneak into this country is that there are very few visas available for them to enter legally. And if they are lucky enough to get one, it doesn’t allow them to work in the country while applying for a green card or legal residency — unlike H1-B visas that high skilled workers use. The idea that there is some kind of line that unskilled workers could stand in and wait their turn to gain legal residency is a complete figment of the restrictionist imagination.

1. The DA could cover one million or even more than two million people, and they'll eventually be able to sponsor their other relatives to come to the U.S. All of that will contribute to the network effect where those who are unable to obtain visas come illegally to join friends and family in the U.S.
2. The DA will send the message - as have other amnesties - that we don't really enforce our immigration laws and that all someone has to do is stay here long enough and they'll get their own amnesty. That will in fact encourage more illegal immigration.
3. There's a reason why we limit immigration by low-skilled workers, and that's something that most Americans support. Instead of respecting the wishes of most Americans, Dalmia supports illegal work-arounds.
4. There are in fact H1B-style programs for farmworkers.


Nor is it the case that denying amnesty would make an iota of difference to future rates of illegal immigration. People come here to escape their economic destitution. It is far more preferable to them to eke out a living in this country illegally - than face slow starvation in their own. That their children will be denied legal status at some point in the future will make no palpable difference to folks confronting a life-and-death situation now.

The great majority of illegal aliens in the U.S. are from Mexico, a country that's at the top of the Third World. Very few illegal aliens in the U.S. were facing starvation at home. Most illegal aliens have to pay thousands or tens of thousands to smugglers, yet Dalmia thinks they were starving.

The bottom line here is that Dalmia is willing to mislead in order to support massive immigration. But, it goes deeper than that: like many libertarians, she has little loyalty to those unlucky enough to share citizenship with her. Selling out her fellow citizens and letting illegal aliens take their college educations just isn't that big of a deal to those like her.

[1] "ObamaCare’s First Major Casualties: Gays and Aliens",