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

quod erat demonstrandum

December 9th, 2010
8:44 am

Bob,

Spoken like a true whiny liberal.

TnGelding

December 9th, 2010
8:45 am

Union

December 9th, 2010
7:57 am

Ain’t that the truth! Why do they have to make everything so complicated?

ctucker

December 9th, 2010
8:52 am

Martin Luth, ah, the Calvinist@7:57, So glad Boortz brought you aboard.

always right

December 9th, 2010
8:53 am

The AJC should change this article to “Cynthia lies and people believe her because they are too dumb to investigate themselves”. Always remember nobody ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of the average American.

GA WA Man

December 9th, 2010
8:54 am

Illegal is still illegal regardless of what Christmas wrapping you put on it.

Atlanta1

December 9th, 2010
8:54 am

And you were doing so well…

“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.”

Have you ever thought that perhaps, just perhaps that you are just as narrow minded?

I do agree that this is a big mistake. That these kids did not make the decision to be brought here; that they have made the best of it, that it is all they know. In other words, it is the country that they grew up in and can be big contributors to. There are fairness issues here, but you ‘weigh’ everything and in this case, allowing these kids a path to citzenship is the right thing to do.

Call it like it is

December 9th, 2010
8:55 am

Dream act is beyond silly. 2 years of college which for the most part are run by far left wing radicals. Yes I’m sure they will hold their feet to the fire on their studies. And of course they will be there with tax payer money for student loans. How about 6 years of being in the army and while in there they can take classes that will be overseen by our military. If they fail in any capacity its back to where they came from.

realtalk

December 9th, 2010
8:56 am

Granny and Cynthia are the same! Both have empty headed arguments are both anti Freedom. What a joke. I suggest to both of you or one, if you don’ like it, then move to Cuba. You’ll love it doen there!

Old Boy

December 9th, 2010
8:57 am

CT, I generally disagree with you idealogically, but I agree that this is partisan politics at its worst. I am all for us providing citizenship for immigrants who prove to be hard workers that can make productive citizens. Newsflash, they are already here working and getting benefits; we might as well get them citizenship so that we can tax them.
My only concern is whether this is needed. For immigrants (illegal or not) who serve for 2 years in the military, the path to citizenship is pretty easy. Especially if they are deployed (which most are within two years).

Good Grief

December 9th, 2010
8:58 am

These kids may not have made the decision to come here, but at some point they came to the realization that they were here illegally. Or are we claiming that people like Jessica Colotl (spelling?) had no clue that she was in this country illegally?

If you know you are committing a crime, and you do nothing to change your behavior, then I can’t see how you meet the “good moral character” clause of the DREAM act. Or am I missing the big picture?

lmno

December 9th, 2010
9:01 am

They just want to be here.

Blue

December 9th, 2010
9:02 am

I dare you to write one article that does not say “tax cuts for the rich”. One trick pony…

Rob

December 9th, 2010
9:04 am

“Republicans have pledged to block votes on everything else until they get the extension of tax cuts for the rich. ”

Which your Messiah, Mr. Obama, supports.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

December 9th, 2010
9:09 am

Good morning all. I write as one who favors open borders. I oppose the DREAM Act because it is being sold under false pretenses.

(1) The fundamental deception is conjoining the merits of conferring citizenship on immigrants who honorably serve in the military and those who lay around a frat house long enough to get a degree in Spanish.

Military service proves a desire to make American a better place. Obtaining a college degree proves nothing more than a desire to make more money with less work; while that may be a common characteristic of “Americanism,” is not a particularly noble trait.

(2) The “military service” component of the DREAM Act is redundant – that power already exists at law:

usgovinfo.about.com/od/immigrationnaturalizatio/a/milcitizens.htm
Jan 29 2008
Members and certain veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible to apply for United States citizenship under special provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). In addition, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has streamlined the application and naturalization process for military personnel serving on active-duty or recently discharged. Generally, qualifying service is in one of the following branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, certain reserve components of the National Guard and the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve.

Qualifications

A member of the U.S. Armed Forces must meet certain requirements and qualifications to become a citizen of the United States. This includes demonstrating:

Good moral character

Knowledge of the English language;

Knowledge of U.S. government and history (civics);

and Attachment to the United States by taking an Oath of Allegiance to the U.S. Constitution.

Qualified members of the U.S. Armed Forces are exempt from other naturalization requirements, including residency and physical presence in the United States. These exceptions are listed in Sections 328 and 329 of the INA.

More likely, the proposal is intended to divert attention from the poor stewardship of the US economy over the past two years – an unworthy, if likely true, motivation for the legislation.

rightwingextreme

December 9th, 2010
9:11 am

CT, there is a path to citizenship….its called the naturalization process. These folks need to get in line like all other immigrants have and become citizens….if that is their goal.

All the NIGHTMARE/DREAM act does is give amnesty and by default, new voters for the dimocrats. And they are going to need them as the dims are going to get it handed to them in 2012 and they know it.

Road Scholar

December 9th, 2010
9:11 am

After both sides screw up the tax cuts and SS, they need to approve the Salt treaty. I can’t believe the repubs want to wait until net session for Salt, esp since so many inexperienced legislators …from both sides… are coming into the House and Senate. I bet these new legislators are all up to date on our nuclear capability and strategy! Then I’ll give the Repub house 6 months to draft a composite immigration bill, not a piecemeal attempt to plug one hole. And no kicking the can down the street!

Jesse Jackson has a scheme for you......

December 9th, 2010
9:14 am

GOP turns its back on illegal immigrants…

THANK YOU GOP for finally standing up for the LAWS in this country!!!!

Momma was Right!

December 9th, 2010
9:15 am

boo boo hoo hoo I support the bill!!! CRY BABIES!!!

Momma was Right!

December 9th, 2010
9:15 am

Enter your comments here

Mexisotan

December 9th, 2010
9:16 am

A couple things missed here… How are illegals getting into the military? or colleges? CT – you might be the worst lib-hack in the country; your subjective left-wing rants are so straightforward, and selective they read like an ninth-grade debate presentation. Your attempt to turn illegal immigration into an issue of right-wing “nativism” is an unfunny joke; missing is any mention of the real fiscal, social or administrative considerations for this Act making this anything but a responsible, balanced or well-rounded article; and no, “join the ranks of patriotic and productive Americans” (are you kidding?) doesn’t count. Here’s an idea for your next home-work assignment, CT: “The Bailout: what $700 billion buyers-remorse feels like”.

Jesse Jackson has a scheme for you......

December 9th, 2010
9:16 am

Momma you support the bill? Gee we find that hard to believe……..sigh….yet another uneducated socialists in Atlanta……

Logic 05

December 9th, 2010
9:17 am

Cynthia Turns Back on Logic and Common Sense.

Why reward people that came to USA ILLEGALLY?

Momma was Right!

December 9th, 2010
9:19 am

Check your backgrounds cry babies!!! are you an AMERICAN INDIAN!

panola

December 9th, 2010
9:20 am

If this Nightmare Act is approved there will be 2 million less American kids going to college over the next several years because the democrats want to give those slots to illegal aliens.

However we American citizens do get one thing out of it… the bill. Yup the democrats want the American taxpayer to subsidize their education while cheating our American kids.

The Nightmare Act has no cap, no end-date and no enforcement. It’s simply a “mass ongoing amnesty”. In the future any foreign family with a school age child can sneak in the country and enroll their child in school to obtain automatic citizenship.

Why do democrats hate American kids so much???

Join NumbersUSA.com to call/fax your Senators this morning.

StJ

December 9th, 2010
9:20 am

“The DREAM Act is no massive plan for “amnesty;”

No, it’s not a “massive” plan. It’s just the plan to crack the door open for other piecemeal “amnesty” bills later. The rationale then would be “we gave group X amnesty via the DREAM act, why not group Y now?”

“They would be eligible for citizenship only if they served in the military for two years or finished two years of college.”

Two years is not enough. They should be required to pass the test given to legal immigrants requesting citizenship, and serve at least four years in the military or earn a four-year degree.

James

December 9th, 2010
9:21 am

granny- i challenge your challenge of the number. what a joke. The AJC itself reported that the Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates that illegal immigration costs federal and local taxpayers 113 billion per annum

granny/CT- you biatch when the cbo is used against you. you can’t have it both ways. the cbo is a bunch of excel doers. you tell them the inputs- they spit out the data. without looking at the cbo study i can bet a diet coke that it was simply based on increased tax revenue and was not full cost absorption.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

December 9th, 2010
9:22 am

Dear Mexicostan @ 9:16, citizenship has never been a requirement to serve in the US military, going back to the time before there was a US government.

David

December 9th, 2010
9:23 am

“patriotic and productive illegal immigrants” those are Ms. Tuckers words. My question is how do you know that they are patriotic if they are illegal? My opposition to the dream act is the same as many, many others. The issues and problems of illegal immigration are not solved with this bill. There are also major flaws in this bill. Tell you what if you want me to be more supportive of this bill how about the option be. If your parents brought you to this country as a child, and you are under the age of 25, you can join the military for 5 years. At the end you will be granted citizenship. You do not get an automatic bid for going to college. However for Ms. Tucker and those like her that can’t see past their own issues and self-importance I am not willing to see things there way so I am a racist. Which is really her whole point and nothing else.

Abolish HHS

December 9th, 2010
9:24 am

If you want smart students, allow free immigration from China of the best and brightest, not stupid people from south of the Rio Grand ditch.

el jefe

December 9th, 2010
9:24 am

gop bigotry on display, nothing new here, please move along…..

Owl

December 9th, 2010
9:24 am

Great article explaining exactly why the losses were so significant in November.

Nothing Is Free

December 9th, 2010
9:25 am

C Tucker

As I have said so many times in the past:

Sounds like a really good reason to start a foundation to send illegals to college.

With all the liberals that want this, I’m sure the donations will start to just pour in.

After all look at all the liberal organizations that there are that help people . . . no wait. Those are mostly churches and conservatives organizations.

THIS COULD BE THE FIRST liberal organization that helps people. You could be a trend setter!!!

I’m sure liberals are very generous with their own money. They have just been holding back.

Alpha23

December 9th, 2010
9:26 am

OK, if these people have such good moral character, why haven’t they applied for ‘LEGAL’ citizenship? You liberal dems look no farther than the nearest vote! Deport all illegal’s, no matter where they came from!! And for all you liberals that want to go all the way back to 1492 to determine citizenship……give up that lame argument!! It just shows your stupidity!!

Some People are stupid

December 9th, 2010
9:26 am

Yall do know a loan means you have to pay it back right. Kinda off putting to say taxpayers are subsidizing education via student loan.

Nothing Is Free

December 9th, 2010
9:27 am

el jefe

Weren’t you the one that was saying that Christians were excrement?

You should certainly know bigotry when you see it.

Kamchak's gerbil

December 9th, 2010
9:28 am

This act is a great way to increase the democratic party.

Nothing Is Free

December 9th, 2010
9:28 am

Some People are stupid

Would you contribute to a foundation that supports illegals’ education?

Would you spend your own money?

Some People are stupid

December 9th, 2010
9:28 am

Nothing is Free-
Can church’s not be liberal?
What’s a conservative organization?
Doesn’t the UNCF help people?

Alpha23

December 9th, 2010
9:28 am

el jefe…….I guess anyone that doesn’t agree with you is a bigot!! Then I’m a bigot, because I believe the laws of the U.S. aren’t being upheld!! But your little liberal democratic buddies aren’t going to be able to help you out this time!!! Hasta la vista, baby!!!

Some People are stupid

December 9th, 2010
9:30 am

Nothing is Free-

If you are asking me if I would contribute to the Mexican College Fund so people could illegally cross the borders and go to college, no.

Really not sure what you are asking though.

Manchurian-Kenyan Candidate

December 9th, 2010
9:30 am

GOP turns its back on patriotic and productive illegal CRIMINALS…….there, fixed your typo Cindy, you’re welcome

Tim Tysver

December 9th, 2010
9:31 am

Cynthia,
How do we confirm how long the child has been here illegally? Ask the parents who illegally brought their children to the United States? There is a legal way for everyone to become a citizen of this great country. Why is it expecting to much to ask people to follow the rules and laws of this country.

Van Jones

December 9th, 2010
9:31 am

So, you’ve been living in my backyard for several years and haven’t really done anything else too criminal. Buh-bye!

Union

December 9th, 2010
9:31 am

gg.. net numbers… really? it would do no good as you have guzzled the kool aid provided to by your elected officials. lets take a look at an inverse item as it might more easily make my point.. show me a govt program of significant proportion that actually remained under the projected budget and delivered as it was proposed. The cbo has changed its numbers many times on the healthcare bill already..

Nothing Is Free

December 9th, 2010
9:33 am

Some People are stupid

- -Really not sure what you are asking though.- -

I’m saying that if this is such a great idea, then support it with your own money.

Personally, I would rather donate to an American kid’s education.

BTW, UNICEF members were found to be raping young girls in The Congo two years ago.

Harry Callahan

December 9th, 2010
9:34 am

Some People are stupid

December 9th, 2010
9:26 am

“Yall do know a loan means you have to pay it back right. Kinda off putting to say taxpayers are subsidizing education via student loan.”

Some People, if you don’t think student loans are a subsidy, I’m sure you won’t mind lending me $50,000 at 1% interest and giving me 50 years to pay it back. When can I come pick up my $50 grand?

BlahBlahBlah

December 9th, 2010
9:34 am

I support the general idea of DREAM. But 15 years old is too high a cutoff point. Someone who spends their first 15 years of life in another country, then spends 5 years in America illegally, should not qualify. Furthermore, 2 years of community college isn’t enough to qualify.

Lower the age cutoff, and make it a 4 year degree.

Some People are stupid

December 9th, 2010
9:34 am

Nothing is Free-

Not UNicef, UNCF,
Technically, since I pay taxes I am supporting it with my own money.

Chris D.

December 9th, 2010
9:34 am

ILLEGAL! ILLEGAL! ILLEGAL! How hard it is to understand?

state

December 9th, 2010
9:36 am