The DREAM would become a nightmare.

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.

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8 thoughts on “The DREAM would become a nightmare.

  1. Jnava says:

    I am an individual who straddles both sides of the fence on this issue. As an immigrant who had to had to go through the process I understand the feelings and emotions of those who are not yet or have not yet started to go through the system. As an educator who works with many immigrant families I know that a child’s immigrant status is often the deterrent for attending a top choice school or a local community college. I’m not in favor of the DREAM Act as it stood several months ago that would also affect an individual’s family, but I am in favor of expediting the process for those individuals who have chosen to pursue a degree after graduating from college. I’m not saying this should be instant, but there should be a system in place for those who are honestly trying to improve their lives and ultimately make a positive impact in our society. I know many children who have been in the US the majority of their lives and are “American” in all aspects, including language, except on paper. The environment they find themselves in are often outside of their control…they should not be punished for the mistakes or shortcomings of their family.

  2. Andy Kirchoff says:

    While I won’t call this article “racist,” the above poster is correct to identify it as ignorant and absolutely unworthy of being posted here on CatholicVote. I am at the point where I see opposing the DREAM Act akin to opposing parental notification for abortion: if you can’t support something of this rather minor magnitude, there is something very, very wrong with your evaluation of the issue.

    It is time Catholics came face to face with the facts about the “secure the border” movement in this country. Ever seen “Maafa21″? Well, get a load of this:

    The same people who brought you abortion-on-demand brought you the argument that “the law is the law!!!” so as to stop “overpopulation” and “preserve America’s cultural integrity.” When people become problems, you know you’ve come across a flagrantly anti-Christ and anti-human position, and that is what the anti-immigrant movement has in common with the pro-choice movement.

    There is a reason why you won’t find people praying outside crisis pregnancy centers in the hopes that the women inside will come out and get abortions. Likewise, there is a reason why you won’t find prayer vigils in opposition to the DREAM Act. You will, however, find people praying outside immigrant detention centers just as you will find people praying outside abortion clinics. Mr. Crowe, it is my hope that you will have a conversion on this issue and join the rest of us who are fighting for the immigrant just as we fight for the unborn.

    1. Joshua Mercer says:

      I am very familiar with John Tanton, as he lives in my town. And he financially supported the Planned Parenthood building here. He opposes illegal immigration (as well as legal immigration) because he doesn’t want America spoiled by increasing population or other races. His views are detestable. But that does not mean that all who oppose the DREAM Act find themselves in the Tanton camp. Not by a long shot. I support our country’s generous legal immigration policy. I happen to sympathize with those who cross the border illegal to feed their family. And people have made the argument that children of illegal immigrants shouldn’t be punished for the crimes of their parents. That may or may not be true, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they deserve to be eligible for subsidized in-state tuition. That seemed to be one of Crowe’s major beefs with the plan. A student from Michigan would have to pay out-of-state tuition to attend a public university in Texas. But because Texas passed the DREAM Act, a child of an illegal immigrant can attend UT for in-state tuition rates. Texas has a right to pass such a law of course. But opposing it doesn’t make you anti-Hispanic. The argument made by supporters of the DREAM Act, that it isn’t fair to punish children of parents who commit crimes is a powerful and emotional argument. But if a father committed a different crime and were sent to jail or deported, it would likewise be a punishment that had adverse affects on his children. But that doesn’t mean you don’t enforce your laws. I will concede that having our federal government rely on universities and businesses to be our immigration cops is foolish policy. I would prefer a solid border fence while maintaining our generous legal immigration policy. But I’m just not sold on this DREAM yet.

      1. Andy Kirchoff says:

        Our legal immigration policy is far from generous, as any legal immigrant will tell you. Beyond things like the Cuban Adjustment Act, immigrants have to wait years before they become citizens…and that’s precisely because of Tanton-esque attitudes that dominated our political system at the time these laws were crafted.

        Regarding your argument about crimes of parents, You will never see the son of a murderer serving time for his father’s actions, but the problem with the undocumented comparison is that a “DREAM eligible” student is punished if he is deported because of the crimes of his parents or unable to receive the same benefits and perform the same civic duties as another citizen. It is one thing if daddy or mommy commits arson and has to rightfully serve prison time; it is another to say that because mommy and daddy crossed a border when baby was 6 months old, that 20 years down the line, not only will mom and dad get deported, but so will the 20 year-old. If you are undocumented, regardless of your circumstances, you risk deportation. That means reporting a crime becomes a risk to your livelihood, not to mention receiving medical care.

        The DREAM Act is a great way to bring us closer to rectifying this precarious situation. There are simply too many non-citizens in this country who should be able to become citizens, but our system doesn’t allow it. Yet everytime we try to reform the system, cries of “amnesty” reverberate and the bill dies. Why should this be so?

  3. EgS says:

    Let’s be Catholic before being Republican shall we? Listen to your bishops and Church not your party, ok Tom?

  4. eeee says:

    Ignorant Article.

    I love how when conservatives oversimply the Dream Act by calling it “amnesty”.

    Let me oversimplify this even further. Your position is racist.

    I don’t see anyone complaining about the number of illegal Irish Immigrants in South Boston. . . or the illegal Italians in the Federal Hill area of Providence.

    If you somehow know better then the Church, then I don’t even want to be considered a Catholic in the same way you are Catholic. Even Evangelical Churches have protested racist immigration policies and yet Catholics are still further behind on this issue then they should be.

    1. Sue in soCal says:

      I must have a reading problem. I read this article twice. Carefully. I do not see anything designating or distinguishing immigrants by race or ethnicity, only by legality or illegality. Illegal Irish immigrants would be in the group distinguishing immigrants by illegality since illegal Irish immigrants would be here illegally, right? Hmmm…Maybe I’m not the one with the reading problem.

  5. Davide says:

    As an immigrant (totally legal) to the United States myself I understand how complex this issue is. No one calls for tougher immigration laws than immigrants who live here LEGALLY. My parents went through rings of fire for us kids. Sure maybe we should have landed in Mexico, and helped each other over the fence, than hide under our neighbors beds and closets. Sure this would have been much simpler-Americans not the brightest folk on the planet-after all aren’t dark skin Italian folk “Latino” and isn’t “Italian” the same as “Spanish”? A sombrero on my head and a burrito in my hand—i’m there amigo, Hijole!! BTW I am totally in agreement with you.

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