OCALA, Fla., July 29, 2014 — America’s southern border is in chaos. Everyone from San Diego to Shanghai must know that by now.
The question, however, is what is causing the crisis.
In 2012, President Barack Obama took executive action after Congress failed to pass the DREAM Act. This proposed law is oft-discussed even today. Unfortunately, it is subject to sound-bite descriptions far more than substantiative analysis.
“The DREAM Act was intended to benefit illegal immigrants who were brought here as children, the most sympathetic subset among our large illegal immigrant population,” Jan C. Ting, a Temple University law professor who served as Assistant Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service under George H.W. Bush, told me last year. “Along with the STEM Jobs Act enacted by the House of Representatives, it is being held hostage to get the amnesty passed as part of a so-called comprehensive immigration reform package.
“I believe the DREAM Act would pass today if a separate vote was allowed on it alone. But I don’t think it should be approved until it’s narrowly restricted to limit benefits only to the intended beneficiaries of the Act, the childhood arrivals, and not to the parents or other relatives who deliberately violated U.S. immigration law. Enactment of a narrowly restricted DREAM Act would be an appropriate part of continuous review, reform, and renewal of our immigration laws.”
The year before that, just after President Obama crafted his DREAM alternative, Center for Immigration Studies Executive Director Mark Krikorian told me the Act “no longer needs to be passed because President Obama has illegally implemented a version of it without congressional assent. With the watering-down of the criteria that were in the original DREAM Act, the president’s DREAM decree is now estimated to apply to 1.75 million illegal aliens.
“This will have several effects. Most immediately, it will offer jobs to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens (or legalize them in jobs they already hold), closing off those jobs to the millions of Americans who are unemployed. In the longer term, it creates new networks for increased future *legal* immigration of the relatives of the legalized illegals. And most fundamentally, it sends the message to illegals here, and to prospective illegals abroad, that sneaking into the US (or overstaying a visa) is worth doing because if you hold out long enough, you or your children will be amnestied.”
The President’s legislation is what led scores of impoverished minors — almost exclusively from third world Latin American nations — to believe that they were eligible for immigration amnesty.
It’s ironic that Washington’s fabled brand of politics-as-usual caused an extraordinary situation. If only this abnormality could have been for the public interest.
Is fighting political corruption even worth it after Citizens United?
Mansur Gidfar, Communications Director of Represent.Us, talks about this and more on the latest episode of Cotto & Company.