GOP turns its back on patriotic and productive illegal immigrants

One of the more detrimental features of the current Republican Party is its indulgence of the stubborn nativism that characterizes its base. That was on full display last night, when only eight Republicans in the House of Representatives voted for the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who have demonstrated ambition, good character and talent.
The DREAM Act is no massive plan for “amnesty;” it is narrowly tailored to young folk who have lived in the U.S. for at least five years. They would be eligible for citizenship only if they served in the military for two years or finished two years of college. They would join the ranks of patriotic and productive Americans.
Michael Gerson, chief speechwriter for George W. Bush, had called on Republicans in Congress to support the bill:

It would be difficult to define a more sympathetic group of potential Americans. They must demonstrate that they are law-abiding and education-oriented. Some seek to defend the country they hope to join. The Defense Department supports the Dream Act as a source of quality volunteers. Business groups welcome a supply of college-educated workers. The Department of Homeland Security endorses the legislation so it can focus on other, more threatening, groups of illegal immigrants. . .

Whatever its legislative fate, the Dream Act is effective at stripping away pretense. Opponents of this law don’t want earned citizenship for any illegal immigrant – even those personally guilty of no crime, even those who demonstrate their skills and character. The Dream Act would be a potent incentive for assimilation. But for some, assimilation clearly is not the goal. They have no intention of sharing the honor of citizenship with anyone called illegal – even those who came as children, have grown up as neighbors and would be willing to give their lives in the nation’s cause.

During the current lame-duck session of Congress, Republicans have been correct to emphasize economic concerns, which the public prioritized in the recent election. But supporting the Dream Act would send a useful message – that some Republicans in victory are capable of governing for the sake of everyone.

But the GOP isn’t interested in proving its sense of duty to everyone. It only wants to satisfy its rich backers (witness its fealty to keeping tax cuts for the rich) and throw a few crumbs to its narrow-minded base. For those reasons, the DREAM Act is probably doomed in the Senate, where Republicans have pledged to block votes on everything else until they get the extension of tax cuts for the rich.

415 comments Add your comment

Union

December 9th, 2010
7:37 am

what does the dream act do to address the issue of those that are here illegally? if they don’t comply with this program.. they will just remain here?

granny godzilla

December 9th, 2010
7:38 am

CBO Estimates DREAM Act Will Reduce The Deficit By $1.4 Billion Over Ten Years

Additional proof that the “deficit reduction” meme in the GOP is simply a smokescreen…. for what we wonder????

Union

December 9th, 2010
7:43 am

gg.. save 1.4 over ten years.. not bad.. especially when you consider the cost of illegals to california is 10 billion a year… or more..

Joel Edge

December 9th, 2010
7:45 am

Or possibly the headline should read: Democratic Party turns it back on rule of law.
Can we at least chunk out the unproductive ones without you libs getting the vapors? Maybe the ones with criminal records. Oh wait, that’s taken care of in the bill. How many misdemeanors can you have?

Good Grief

December 9th, 2010
7:45 am

Must it be said again, CT? Alright, I’ll say it…

What part of ILLEGAL do you not understand?

But props to you for this article, CT. You managed to attack the GOP, the rich, and those opposed to illegal immigration in one article. If only you could’ve found a way to blame pure, unadulterated racism for the whole thing, you would’ve had a perfect article.

granny godzilla

December 9th, 2010
7:48 am

Union

I challenge your number.

TnGelding

December 9th, 2010
7:49 am

Would the illegal family members responsible for them being here be elegilbe for citizenship once the children become citizens? It’s not fair to tarnish the GOP this way, Cynthia. There are a few that support it. It’s hard to know someone’s motives. I’m conflicted on it myself. And get off this tax cut for the rich mantra. It was irresponsible to cut the tax rates so drastically to begin with, but at this point we need to pull together and close the budget deficit, and that’s going to require true sacrifice from all of us. I’d like to see language in the bill to extend them 2 years that neither side would seek a further extension. At some point we have to bite the bullet, and as you know I thought it might as well be right now. I can certainly understand the reasoning for the extension, though.

Obama is getting a civics lesson; the president does not control Congress. It’s good to see the Dems showing some independence.

Union

December 9th, 2010
7:50 am

gg.. of course you do.. look it up.. although the article i pulled was from 2004.. so its a little low..

Peadawg

December 9th, 2010
7:52 am

“Would the illegal family members responsible for them being here be elegilbe for citizenship once the children become citizens?” – Good question.

Martin the Calvinist

December 9th, 2010
7:53 am

At first I was totally against this legislation too, but Bortz gave a compelling argument to support it if it only gave legal status to children who were brought here by their parents. I’m not sure of every detail of this piece of legislation but the concept isn’t a bad idea. I think it has to do with the age of the person and how much proof has to be shown that they were brought here by their parents. I am totally against illegal immigration and overall amnesty but how can you round up everyone who sneaked over here and deport them. That would cost too much.

TnGelding

December 9th, 2010
7:56 am

Union

December 9th, 2010
7:37 am

It allows the INS to concentrate on dealing with those.

We can’t round up and deport 12-15 million people, but we can systematically go after those that are committing other illegal acts, and the Obama Administration is doing that.

Maybe we should issue special work permits to those that come forward and identify themselves that are obeying all the other laws and put even more pressure on those that don’t?

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

December 9th, 2010
7:57 am

After a two-hour floor debate, the House passed the DREAM Act along mostly partisan lines, 216 to 198, with 38 Democrats voting against the bill and 8 Republicans supporting it.

Even proponents conceded they haven’t secured the 60 votes needed to move the bill forward in the Senate.

Just filling in the “truth gap.”

Know what I mean?

Martin the Calvinist

December 9th, 2010
7:57 am

I just couldn’t support this legislation if it opened the door for the person who becomes legal due to the Dream Act to be able get everyone in his extended family citizenship too. It has to be exclusively for that particular person and other than being here illegally, that person has to committed no other crime.

Union

December 9th, 2010
7:57 am

tngelding.. i like that idea.. although the simplicity of it would overwhelm most of our elected officials.

Georgian

December 9th, 2010
7:58 am

The bill is TOO vague. First, Illegal immigrants can apply for student loans, which are footed by whom other than us the tax payer. Then it says if they don’t meet the conditions, they COULD be deported, not they WILL BE but they COULD be. Furthermore, the bill does NOTHING to solve the problem of illegal immigration, as only a few illegal immigrants would fall under this umbrella. Now I know and am sure flocks of illegals would start taking advantage of this, it would still come at the expense of the American taxpayer and I am unwilling to foot the bill for someone to come here illegally, get an education, and get a free pass.

Martin the Calvinist

December 9th, 2010
8:00 am

BTW Cynthia, I’m about as conservative as it comes who supports the shrinkage of our federal government by 60%. We can’t sustain that kind of spending and remain a free nation. You shouldn’t paint everyone with such a broad brush.

Good Grief

December 9th, 2010
8:01 am

“For those reasons, the DREAM Act is probably doomed in the Senate, where Republicans have pledged to block votes on everything else until they get the extension of tax cuts for the rich.”
____

I thought Obama had already caved on tax cuts, even though I know how much it galls you, CT, to think of people being allowed to keep more of their own money. If that’s the case, then your last line doesn’t really hold water, unless you just needed another way to blame the GOP.

Finn McCool

December 9th, 2010
8:01 am

It is much harder to pay someone a subsistence or below-subsistence wage if they obtain citizenship so of course the wealthy and business owners don’t want this. They want to keep the pool of available low wage workers as large as possible. The Dream Act would affect their bottom line.

It’s business, it’s not personal.

Finn McCool

December 9th, 2010
8:04 am

What part of ILLEGAL do you not understand?

And of course your immigrating ancestors gained US citizenship BEFORE they ever stepped foot inside US borders, correct? They didn’t arrive here first and THEN obtain citizenship?

andygrdzki

December 9th, 2010
8:05 am

CONVERSELY…..

Immigration Center Estimates DREAM Act Tab at $6.2 Billion

A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies predicts that the so-called DREAM Act Congress is considering to provide the so-called “road to citizenship” for illegal immigrants could cost U.S. taxpayers $6.2 billion, partly because most of the immigrants who would take advantage of it would attend state universities and community colleges. The Washington, D.C.-based think tank’s report estimates that number at 1.03 million, and it describes the figure as conservative.

“Given the low income of illegal immigrants, most can be expected to attend state schools, with a cost to taxpayers in the billions of dollars,” says the report, which center research director Steven A. Camarota wrote. “As both funds and slots are limited at state universities and community colleges, the act may reduce the educational opportunities available to U.S. citizens.”

Noting that the DREAM Act would not provide funding to states and counties to cover the costs it imposes, the report says, “Since enrollment and funding are limited at public institutions, the act’s passage will require some combination of tuition increases, tax increases to expand enrollment or a reduction in spaces available for American citizens at these schools.”

DREAM Act advocates contend it will increase tax revenue significantly, a claim the report rebuts.

Some opponents, such as U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, also contend that, if enacted, the act would allow the students to sponsor their relatives as citizens, unleashing a flood of thousands of immigrants.

Nothing Is Free

December 9th, 2010
8:06 am

Finn McCool

If they obtain citizenship like my ancestors did, that would be fine.

That’s not what this is.

JohnnyReb

December 9th, 2010
8:06 am

The House vote on DREAM was nothing more than partisan politics. Nancy knew the bill would be DOA in the Senate. Now, Ms Tucker and the hard Left can vilify Republicans, which by the way, the Repubs have the majority of Americans on their side on immigration.

granny godzilla

December 9th, 2010
8:07 am

Union

YOU have established a cost, from 2004, can you also establish the benefit and give us a NET number?

granny godzilla

December 9th, 2010
8:09 am

JohnnyReb

Actually 70% of Americans support the DREAM Act…..

Nothing Is Free

December 9th, 2010
8:09 am

granny

No one is saying that they can’t go to school. I just don’t want to pay for it.

dougmo2

December 9th, 2010
8:10 am

Tn Gelding @ 7:56

There is a National Forest on the Arizona-Mexico border that is so dangerous that instead of sending sending more Border Patrol agents to clear it out, the government posted signs telling people not to go in. So please explain how our fearless leader is doing more again?

granny godzilla

December 9th, 2010
8:12 am

What part of ILLEGAL do you not understand?

What part of stupid law do YOU not understand?

dougmo2

December 9th, 2010
8:12 am

BTW-The Dream Act is amnesty period
If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it will never be a chicken.

Good Grief

December 9th, 2010
8:14 am

Granny -
I was merely being facetious with the earlier “illegal” comment. That said, I note that one of the provisions of this act is that a potential DREAMer must be of “good moral character.” Who makes that decision? What is the criteria for “good moral character?”

granny godzilla

December 9th, 2010
8:15 am

NIF

I don’t want to pay for airports anymore, or the war in Afghanistan, or
subsidies to companies that outsource jobs….

We don’t always get what we want.

Nothing Is Free

December 9th, 2010
8:16 am

And the body count begins:
The Taliban, a radical Islamic militia in Afghanistan, announced its gratitude to Wikileaks for the release and vowed to hunt down those revealed in the documents to be collaborating with the U.S. It appears that they have now made good on that threat.

Khalifa Abdullah, a tribal elder, was removed from his home in Monar village, in Kandahar province’s embattled Arghandab district, by gunmen. He was then executed.

granny godzilla

December 9th, 2010
8:17 am

Good Grief

I guess the same folks who make that choice about Supreme Court judges….Section 1 of Article III states that judges of Article III courts shall hold their offices “during good behavior.”

That would be me and you – American people.

Nothing Is Free

December 9th, 2010
8:17 am

granny

- -We don’t always get what we want.- -

I did.

Good Grief

December 9th, 2010
8:23 am

Granny – Just for clarity’s sake, how exactly do we hold unelected, appointed-for-life judge accountable to “good behavior?”

quod erat demonstrandum

December 9th, 2010
8:26 am

Hmm – patriotic and illegal – doesn’t seem to go together.

Re: To attend college – why is there no degree or class load requirement?
Re: Military service – If the guy next to you has loyalties to a different country – would you think twice?

I don’t mind them service this nation, but it should be on an individual basis on whether they can become citizens or not.

Heck – I question the loyalties of most the progressives and lefties too. I do think Hugo would welcome them, but I wouldn’t.

granny godzilla

December 9th, 2010
8:27 am

Good Grief

Based on Scalia and Thomas……we really don’t do we?

granny godzilla

December 9th, 2010
8:28 am

qed

Great! Now I don’t feel so bad calling you a facist.

granny godzilla

December 9th, 2010
8:28 am

NIF

Nope.

Remember 2008?

granny godzilla

December 9th, 2010
8:29 am

y’all play nice today…

Good Grief

December 9th, 2010
8:30 am

Granny – nice deflection! I love how when you ask a question you demand hard proof and numbers, but when a question is asked of you, you merely deflect and move. Excellent execution of the liberal playbook. I’m so proud of you.

quod erat demonstrandum

December 9th, 2010
8:30 am

Granny,

i am not where near being leftist enough for that – Facist were total lefties.

Georgian

December 9th, 2010
8:33 am

Give us REAL immigration reform and we will LISTEN!

granny godzilla

December 9th, 2010
8:34 am

GG

Thanks

It was a POINTED defelection.

QED

Mafor piffle – big stinking piffle

Now I really do have tons of stuff to do….

Bob

December 9th, 2010
8:34 am

Finn 8:04, Thats a “mute” point. Many did receive their papers prior to arrival. And many had to show that they would not be a drag on society prior to being admitted into the country.

JohnnyReb

December 9th, 2010
8:34 am

Granny – that 70% figure you site must be from a poll taken in Berkley.

Nothing Is Free

December 9th, 2010
8:35 am

granny

Maybe, but it has turned out OK. Sometimes the American public needs to be reminded about what progressives stand for. We were reminded in 92 and we have been reminded for the past two years. The last reminder put Republicans in charge for 18 years and they didn’t even ruin the economy.

I don’t know how old you are, but you or I may never see Democrats in charge of our government again during our lifetime.

Georgian

December 9th, 2010
8:35 am

Its always wrong to pass legislation that has loosely stated language, for it opens the floodgates for certain opportunistic individuals to attempt to bypass the law.

Good Grief

December 9th, 2010
8:36 am

QED – Regarding granny’s 8:34 comment: I love it when leftists try to say that facists were not to the left of the political spectrum.

Bob

December 9th, 2010
8:36 am

Cynthia, speaking of bad treatment, why does a gay have to be worried about being abused by gov in such a progressive city ? Or were those tea party people in police uniforms bashing heads at the Eagle ?

quod erat demonstrandum

December 9th, 2010
8:39 am

Good Grief,

how true – btw, i think Granny and CT are the same – both have nutty notions of what this country should and could be.