The immigration system is horribly flawed. No one disputes that. But the prayer campaign on behalf of the DREAM Act being pushed by the Justice for Immigrants campaign at the USCCB just isn’t wise.
The DREAM Act would not address the real problems with our immigration system, would exacerbate some already existing problems, and would cause new tensions. The bill has gone through a number of different forms, but they all include some combination of the following significant problems.
It would not make any difference for illegal immigrants who join the military. The laws on the books already expedite their citizenship process.
It would grant in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants. Which means they would get a benefit not afforded to either everyday law-abiding U.S. citizens, or foreign nationals who come on a student visa.
It would forbid law enforcement from using any information in an amnesty application from being used to initiate deportation proceedings. An applicant could lie about his age or any of a number of things, and the fact of his deliberately lying to the federal government could not be counted against him by law enforcement. Again, that’s a luxury not afforded citizens. Try lying on your tax forms next year and see where that gets you.
It would grant bureaucrats, up to and including the secretary of Homeland Defense, the ability to waive certain requirements, like the requirement to go to college or join the military, if the deportation would impose a hardship on the family. Talk about an infinitely expanding loophole—in what circumstances, exactly, would thedeportation of a given member of a family *not* pose an undue burden?
Again, the immigration system in place is horribly flawed and needs to be fixed so that those who wish to come here to work, participate in, and contribute to the American experiment can do so with a minimum of necessary protections. But simply granting amnesty to anywhere from 300,000 to 2.1 million illegal immigrants, and compounding the problem by granting them protections and benefits far beyond those enjoyed by lawful residents will not solve the problem.
I pray that the Justice for Immigrants campaign’s prayer campaign is answered by God with a fixed immigration system, not counterproductive laws like the DREAM Act.