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

Harry Callahan

December 9th, 2010
9:36 am

granny godzilla

December 9th, 2010
8:12 am

“What part of stupid law do YOU not understand?”

Hey granny, social security is a stupid law. Can I quit paying into it?

Mexisotan

December 9th, 2010
9:38 am

Ragnar:
Sure… but they do have to demonstrate they are permanent residents via a permanent residency card (with enough residency to complete their enlistment). I question how many illegal aliens are carrying permanent residency cards. One of the things not addressed in the blog entry (I mistakenly called it an “article” earlier, it is not). The blog entry is an attack on all things GOP under the thin veil of illegal immigration.

Steve

December 9th, 2010
9:38 am

Knowingly break the law for years and you will be rewarded…great logic Cynthia…did that Pulitzer fall off your mantle and hit you in the head?

Nothing Is Free

December 9th, 2010
9:39 am

Some People are stupid

- -Technically, since I pay taxes I am supporting it with my own money.- -

So do you think that people should have a choice whether or not they support an issue?

(BTW, Sorry you are getting pounded here, but the rest of the liberals that haunt this place usually don’t show up until the crack of noon. Every morning it’s usually you and granny and a whole bunch of conservatives)

Contractor

December 9th, 2010
9:39 am

Well, this past election put new people in political office for a reason. It finally seems to show that the American voice was heard, and is not being implemented into American society. They want to be a part of this country, have them fill out the proper paper work, pass the test, and welcome new citizens. And hey, here is a work visa so you can stay while you file. Otherwise, hit the road jack, and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more. Simple as that Tucker. Go ahead and throw your road blocks up with the process of becoming a citizen, but millions have done it before, and millions will continue to do it, so it is not impossible to do things in this country the right way, as they were intended to be done.

Harry Callahan

December 9th, 2010
9:39 am

I wonder how illegal aliens get treated in the neighborhoods where people like the Kennedys live.

Union

December 9th, 2010
9:39 am

Nothing Is Free
December 9th, 2010
9:33 am

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

is unicef a spinoff of acorn or vice versa? :)

Cynthia "NEVER" gets it!!!!

December 9th, 2010
9:39 am

AS usual the AJC’s LIBERAL voice of the NON-PRODUCTIVE gets heard from!!! This time you are allowing “little Cindy” to try to tell us why ILLEGAL’S (no matter how long they have HID from authorities) should be allowed to remain in the country!

Now she thinks they should be allowed into our military service and to attend our colleges (on whose “DIME” does she think this comes from)…

BOTTOM LINE…

THESE ARE ILLEGALS who are in this country receiving everything from FREE mediacal care to food stamps on tax dollars coming out of OUR pockets! GET past the “POLITICAL CORRECTNESS CRAP” and call it like it is…these are ILLEGAL LAWBREAKERS and should be deported immediately!!!

I Dont Think So...

December 9th, 2010
9:39 am

Ragnar quotes usgovinfo.about.com/od/immigrationnaturalizatio/a/milcitizens.htm
“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;
[...]”

First off, I didn’t know “illegal” immigrants were eligible to serve in the armed forces. That’s a scary thought! My father gained citizenship in to this country from Canada in WW2 by serving in the military, but I think he had to apply for citizenship first.

If this law passes, and making assumptions most of the illegal immigrants are from south of the border, I would think they would the armed services would have to create bi-lingual branches and instructions on everything. Just like the government seems to have done to embrace the illegals that are already here.

Some People are stupid

December 9th, 2010
9:39 am

Harry Callahan-

Kinda leads me to believe that a. You haven’t been to college, or B) You haven’t taken out a student loan. Neither of which is bad by the way as many successful people have never attended college.

1. The interest now is 3.65
2. Interest rate is set by the same market conditions that influence mortgage rates…which are historically low.
3.I would love to hear how you subsidize an amount that I pay back with interest. Unless you get a subsidized loan(Stafford) they pay interest while in college. As far as I know, those are eligible to non citizens, that means they have to get unsubsidized loans, which they are responsible for since inception.
4. If I agree to give you a 50k loan at 1% interest, that’s not a subsidy, thats an agreed upon rate of return. If it’s low it my fault for agreeing to such a term. That’s not an example of a subsidy.

Some People are stupid

December 9th, 2010
9:40 am

Should read those are not*

Contractor

December 9th, 2010
9:40 am

Supposed to say “is now being implemented”, not “not being implemented”. Typo, sorry for that.

Aaron

December 9th, 2010
9:41 am

I do not support passing the DREAM Act. Welcome to the U.S., but for goodness sake, follow the laws. I have to ask how did we deal with immigration in the 1900’s? 1910’s? My great-grandparents fled from Europe in anticipation of the WWI and they were able to become U.S. citizens, raise a family here. What’s the big deal now?

Harry Callahan

December 9th, 2010
9:44 am

Some People, I did go to college, both undergrad and MBA, paid for it myself, no loans and pre-HOPE. 3.65% is below market for an unsecured loan. It’s a subsidy. Not even debateable.

Kamchak

December 9th, 2010
9:44 am

What part of ILLEGAL do you not understand?

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

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

And hiring IAs is illegal. You silly cons always leave that out.

Logic 05

December 9th, 2010
9:44 am

Why does anyone pay attention to granny?
Occasionally, she escapes from the nursing home and starts ranting with post that are void of logic.

Uhoh

December 9th, 2010
9:45 am

Just creates another loophole for illegals to crawl through.

JKL2

December 9th, 2010
9:46 am

I guess I’m having trouble getting past the “patriotic illegal immigrants” part. Do you mean patriotic to Mexico (or wherever they came from)?

Can we have the military start recruiting Al Qaeda members next?

Harry Callahan

December 9th, 2010
9:46 am

I’d support the DREAM act if it included language forcing the exclusive private schools the Obama kids attend to accept illegals. That way, their kids’ education can get bogged down by inclusion of non-english-speaking illegals as well.

Go ahead and include all the private schools where ALL the rich lib politicians enroll their kids.

Nothing Is Free

December 9th, 2010
9:47 am

Union

I think it is all a spinoff of the DNC. LOL!!

I got a full day. I gotta get out of here.

Jack

December 9th, 2010
9:47 am

Them there mean old Republican rascals are certainly giving hand-wringing rights to the liberals. Petulance really doesn’t look good on grown folk.

Harry Callahan

December 9th, 2010
9:48 am

Kamchak

December 9th, 2010
9:44 am

“And hiring IAs is illegal. You silly cons always leave that out.”

1) If they weren’t here, they couldn’t be hired.
2) Most conservatives support stiff penalties for hiring illegals

You silly libs always leave that part out.

wtf?

December 9th, 2010
9:48 am

CT – when was the last time you had an original thought?
I’d understand if you were in the house or senate and had some skin in the game, but how can you really be so passionate towards every single idea from the left and so against every idea from the right?
I’m affraid you are falling into the polarizing brainwashing of the current state of political news shows and blogs. if everyone would take a giant step back and realize these news programs are for entertainment purposes and Rush, Maddow, OReily, ect. are just highly paid entertainers.
I challenge you to look at issues for what they are, and not blindly follow the left or the right across the board, regardless of the issue.

Good Grief

December 9th, 2010
9:48 am

Kamchak – I say prosecute those that hire illegals. I’m all for it. Sorry I fell into the path of your broad brush so that you could label me as a “silly con.”

General Feeling

December 9th, 2010
9:49 am

Georgian said “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.”

Um, like the United States Constitution? Humans will always seek to use whatever loosley stated language to their own benefit. But I’d rather corporations and Wall Street be the abusers than polticians and governments.

Tommy Maddox

December 9th, 2010
9:50 am

I’m still trying to figure out why the Left turned their backs on average working pale faces [Kemosabi].

Harry Callahan

December 9th, 2010
9:50 am

Kamchak wants to allow illegals entry to the U.S., but doesn’t want them to be hired, but does want them to be able to vote and go to school and drive a car. Truly, Kamchak is an enlightened liberal.

Harry Callahan

December 9th, 2010
9:51 am

Any gamblers on the blog this morning? what’s the over/under on how long before Kamchak uses the term “leghumper”?

BeeJay

December 9th, 2010
9:52 am

If these illegal immigrants were “patriotic” and productive, they wouldn’t be illegal immigrants. I say Pooh on any concessions to ILLEGAL immigrants. Why should they get special favors? Why is their lawlessness overlooked?

Kamchak

December 9th, 2010
9:53 am

Aaron

December 9th, 2010
9:55 am

This forum is apparently for entertainment purposes only as well.

John

December 9th, 2010
9:57 am

1. Where’s my incentive to work? The Dems will hand money to me.

2. Where’s my incentive to save? The Dems will hand money to me.

3. Where’s my incentive to buy health insurance? I can go to Grady’s emergency room and the Dems will pay for it.

4. Where’s my incentive to study hard and make good grades so I can get into a good college? The Dems will see to it that I can get in anywhere as the result of afformative acrtion. Oh, wait a minute. I forgot that I’m a white maile. In Amertica in 2010 I don’t qualify. Damn good thing we’ve become a color blind society that where Dr. King’s quality of character is the rule of the lend, eh CT?

5. Where’s my incentive to abide by the laws and rules of the land? The Dems will fight to keep me here so I will vote for them. This is so transparent.

That’s some country you want, CT. I strongly suggest you move to France.

GT/MIT

December 9th, 2010
9:57 am

I don’t recall once in my 75 years ever reading such unmitigated rubbish on one printed page. Tuckers fingers should be ashamed for typing such bogus malarkey. If memory serves me right, I believe there are in place a number of “LEGAL” means by which one desiring to emigrate to our great country can do so. She may not be aware of them however, they’ve only been on the books for, oh something over one hundred years.

Of course in her mindless way she must find a goat on which to hang blame for the american peoples total rejection of her hypothesis. Who better than the hated Republicans?. No one, so its their fault, notwithstanding the fact that the Democrats hold a controlling majority in both houses of of this lame congress, add duck if you feel it would be appropriate.

Somewhere in that, ahem article, she says,”they would join the ranks of patriotic and productive Americans”. I doubt that ms. Tucker can speak for that particular group of Americans.

I going to try to exit this forum without getting any of this Pulitzer Prise winning stuff on my shoes..

JKL2

December 9th, 2010
9:58 am

I don’t think so- First off, I didn’t know “illegal” immigrants were eligible to serve in the armed forces

They’re not. You don’t have to be a citizen (You won’t get anything requiring a security clearance) but you do have to have an INS 551(green card)

JKL2

December 9th, 2010
10:00 am

Can I point out the simple fact that the military is one job we have more than enough able bodied Americans trying to fill. Unlike most things in the news, this would clearly be a case of illegals taking jobs away from Americans.

Rafe Hollister

December 9th, 2010
10:00 am

I am suppossed to be happy to subsidize “ILLEGAL” residents college tuition and the legalization of all their relatives, who will immediately qualify for welfare and food stamps, while my underemployed son struggles with thousands of dollars of student loans, he will probably never be able to pay for unless he gets a better job. Don’t think so!

If we are going to borrow the money to support all these nice illegals, lets borrow enough to give AMNESTY on all student loans and a guaranteed job for everyone who wants one. We have a right to healthcare the left tells us, what about a right to a job and debt free education.

Kamchak

December 9th, 2010
10:01 am

Kamchak – I say prosecute those that hire illegals. I’m all for it. Sorry I fell into the path of your broad brush so that you could label me as a “silly con.”

Then why did you say so in the first place?

You silly cons are quick to play the “what part of illegal don’t you understand card,” but it is only after someone comes along and plays the “hiring IAs is also illegal” card that you you say, “I say prosecute those that hire illegals.”

You guys are entirely too predictable.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1) If they weren’t here, they couldn’t be hiredcouldn’t be hired, they wouldn’t come here in the first place.
2) Most Very few conservatives support stiff penalties for hiring illegals

Fixed your typos.

Capitol Avenue Cal

December 9th, 2010
10:02 am

The operative word here, Ms. Ticker, is “illegal.” What about that do you not understand?

Reality

December 9th, 2010
10:03 am

Tucker is clueless, just like DC liberals.

mike

December 9th, 2010
10:03 am

Granny, a good friend of mine just retired from CBO after 30 years; he’d be the first to tell you that they never hit an estimated target, rarely even close – reducing deficit by 1.4B is preposterous. The DREAM act will only increase deficit by “legitimizing” many more dependents.

markie mark

December 9th, 2010
10:04 am

@Some…

“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.”

Yea, and the default rate on student loans is pretty steep….and thats on American Citizens. What about illegals who borrow 50 – 100K, and then go back to their country of origin. How do you garnishee their wages, take their tax refunds, etc and all the other tools available against an American defaulter?

Abolish HHS

December 9th, 2010
10:05 am

I demand WAR with Mexico over their invasion of America! ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK – Let there be no survivors!

Georgian

December 9th, 2010
10:06 am

Truth on whats wrong with the DREAM Act, courtesy of: AOL News.

(Dec. 8) — As soon as today, the Senate may vote on the DREAM Act. This law would, according to backers, offer people brought into the U.S. illegally as children and who graduated from high school a better chance of making a life here.

It’s a noble goal, but passage is a long shot.

It isn’t just a problem with timing. While the legislation addresses the compelling plight of the illegal immigrant high school graduate, it suffers major flaws that make it patently unfair.

Here are several big flaws.

It discriminates against children of legal immigrants. Under the law, for example, high school graduates under age 30 who were brought to the country illegally before age 16 would have access to in-state tuition, publicly funded student loans and a green card. But foreign-born high school graduates in those same age groups who were brought into the country legally wouldn’t quality for these invaluable benefits. The DREAM Act benefits illegal immigrants only.

Likewise, these illegal immigrants would only need to serve in the military for two years to expedite citizenship. Legal immigrants have to put their life on the line for three years before getting that benefit. That’s a difference that’s not just unfair, but potentially deadly.

By favoring millions of illegal immigrants over legal ones, the DREAM Act surely will encourage more young foreign nationals to enter and/or stay in the U.S. illegally. While the bill is limited only to those currently in the country, it’s highly likely that once granted, the “dream” will be extended to future young illegal immigrants who graduate from an American high school “or its equivalent.” With such benefits, why come in legally?

The age range is too broad. Because of the generous qualifying age range of before 16 and up to 30 years old, an estimated 2 million adult illegal immigrants would qualify immediately for green cards under the DREAM Act, according to the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute — twice as many as normally are given out in a single year. Opponents call this unacceptable “sneak amnesty.”

Some proponents also recognize this to be extreme and, last week, the upper age limit was reduced to 30 from 35 years old. But some argue that the upper range should be reduced to 24, while the lower age limit should be set at 10 or even 8 years old. That would better reflect the goal of the act to benefit students who’ve only known the U.S. as home.

It’s being falsely marketed. Backers say the DREAM Act is the only way for illegal immigrant high school graduates to go to college. The fact is, they already can attend many highly tolerant colleges throughout the country. “We don’t ask students about their immigration status. If they’ve graduated from high school and qualify academically, they’re admitted,” Charles B. Reed, chancellor of the California State University system, told me in June. The California Supreme Court ruled in favor of his position in November.

To be sure, the DREAM Act does fulfill one dream — the dream of colleges and universities for more Hispanic students. Last winter the powerful Hispanic Association of College and Universities urged passage of the act, saying that it not only would send a positive message to Latinos, but would also help colleges qualify for a new $1 billion U.S. Department of Education fund aimed exclusively at Hispanic-serving institutions.

To apply, colleges need to document that 25 percent of their students are Hispanic. The DREAM Act would be a rich source of such students.

There are many compelling reasons why any immigrant who was brought into the country as a very young child and goes on to complete high school, college or serve in the armed forces with a clean record should be allowed to apply for permanent legal status.

The DREAM Act can be fixed to benefit this more limited population. But that would require lawmakers to be brutally honest about the law’s real purpose. It’s about obtaining a permanent legal residency work permit (a green card). After all, what is the use of attending an expensive U.S. college if you don’t have the right to stay and work, if you can be deported at any time?

Of course, looking at the DREAM Act as a work-permit bill makes it much more difficult to pass during a recession with at least 10 percent of American workers unemployed or underemployed. It’s much easier to pitch it as fulfilling the dreams of wonderful young immigrants who are in the country illegally to go to college.

This spin is the DREAM Act’s biggest problem and why it probably won’t become law.

zeke

December 9th, 2010
10:07 am

THE DREAM ACT? HERE IS THE DREAM ACT! ALL ILLEGAL CRIMINALS AND THEIR ILLEGAL CRUMB SNATCHERS ARE ARRESTED, DEPORTED, NO CHANCE EVER OF COMING BACK OR BECOMING CITIZENS! ABLE BODIED WELFARE AND OTHER GOVERNMENT MANDATED SOCIALIST REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH RECIPIENTS ARE REQUIRED TO WORK AT ANY JOB AVAILABLE TO CONTINUE TO RECEIVE THOSE TAXPAYER FUNDED GIVEAWAYS! FINALLY, ALL LIBERAL, LEFT WING COMMIE SOCIALISTS LIKE YOU C.T., ARE BANNED FROM VOTING OR SPOUTING YOUR VILE ANTI AMERICAN FILTH ANYWHERE!!!!!!

Scott

December 9th, 2010
10:09 am

I guess it was a good try by attaching the name DREAM. Thing was DOA, another waste of time.

Good Grief

December 9th, 2010
10:10 am

Kamchak – My bad. I forgot that liberals can say whatever they want, but if a conservative makes a statement they must list every possible caveat, amendment, and/or article supporting/opposing their point of view.

George W

December 9th, 2010
10:11 am

Does the word “illegal” mean anything to you at all?

markie mark

December 9th, 2010
10:11 am

hey Kam….

And hiring IAs is illegal. You silly cons always leave that out.

Since you liberals scream about that so much, did you see the article in yesterdays AJC where the Supreme Court is taking up that issue? Nevada has a law on the books criminalizing hiring illegals, and has had one for 3 years. They are trying to enforce the law, and the Obama Justice Dept sued them over it. The 9th circuit (as you will know is the most liberal circuit) upheld the Nevada law to revoke business licenses, fine, and imprison owners who knowingly hire illegals. The Justice Dept has appealed. The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to hear the case. So your argument does not hold water…(and I wonder why the mainstream press hasnt reported this case in the last year while we were all arguing this very point….makes you kinda go….hhhmmmmmmm.)

Kamchak's gerbil

December 9th, 2010
10:12 am

Kamy – you seem to be angry today – I promise I’ll clip my nails.

granny godzilla

December 9th, 2010
10:12 am

STUPID! IMMORAL! UNCOMPASSIONITE!

I know THEY don’t understand any of that.