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

George W

December 9th, 2010
10:13 am

The senate is actually opposing the Dream Act….Who has the majority there? Oh yeah the Dems!

Reisertiel

December 9th, 2010
10:14 am

Hi everyone. Parents brought me here when i was 14, i’m a high school graduate, and after high school i tried to enlist in the USMC but as you know it wasn’t possible. like someone said on the comments, this whole thing about the DREAM act resurfacing again is likely to be merely a politics guerilla-type tactic against republicans, but then again it may not and i want to thank everyone that truly is advocating this. It is not a good feeling to come to a country at a young age, learn to love the system you live in, to the extent of being ready to join the nations armed forces where you could lose your life especially now with the war, then realize you are not part of it all. This DREAM act would benefit an specifically targeted audience. As far as it being an Amnesty…i think yes, it is, but it would benefit good subjects keep that in mind. As far as it being too “Vague” based on the fact that beneficiaries have to prove they are of “good moral character” no one has the authority to rule on what is good moral character, but to understand the government’s idea of “good moral character” that wold be used to qualify subjects, you have to see that they will determine whether a person is of “good moral character” by making sure they are not part of a list of illegal criminal offenses( i.e. Sexual offenses, racketeering, gambling, polygamy, habitual drinking, terrorism etc, you can find the list on the interwebz, just google it) rather than coming up with a list of the good qualities or traits of the person in question( i.e. education-oriented, productive, military material)….thus, the act is not vague at all, it will benefit people who:

-Have not engaged in certain criminal acts(other than entering this coutry illegaly and unwillingly)
-Are Education-oriented.
-Wiling to join the military.

Now, about this new wave of young people that are going to join the nation’s educational institutions, i don’t see why they have to be a burden on the taxpayer at all. Let’s be realistic here, we are talking about energetic young folk who have dreams and want to do something in life not people who are planning of sitting on their lawn-chairs leeching on the system once they are part of the system. in the event of getting in this train, i assure you, they will pay taxes, and they will fund their education if they can or they will join the military. to make it more realistic, they should halt the ability of the children to be able to legalize their parents, in my opinion. like someone said though, for the people opposing the bill, it is politics, and politics as some of you may know is a business nothing personal here. but for me it’s more than personal, it is freedom, bread and life. i truly believe that only good can come out of this.

Suckers

December 9th, 2010
10:15 am

The city of Sandy Springs recently declared its first slum. As a resident, it took about .2 seconds to guess that they were referring to the Mexiblock just south of Roswell Road and 285.

Jane

December 9th, 2010
10:16 am

This the Mariel boat lift repeated. Carter said he would take in Cuban, and Castro opened the jails. Obama wants to provide amnesty and free college to Mexicans, and the poor of drug war torn Mexico go north.

win

December 9th, 2010
10:16 am

The CBO says it will increase the defict by more then billion in the ten years starting 2020.

Georgian

December 9th, 2010
10:18 am

How can an ILLEGAL be patriotic and productive?

spectator

December 9th, 2010
10:18 am

Democrats continue to desperately yearn for amnesty for all illegals who have slunk across our southern border. They may state what they consider to be “high-minded” reasons the U.S. should welcome these hordes but we all know the real reason…they see this as an opportunity to add more democrat “under-class” voters who are content to live off the largesse of liberal politicians in Washington.

George W

December 9th, 2010
10:22 am

Spectator…..Great point!

Toby

December 9th, 2010
10:23 am

Why do I think I’m a conservative when I never agree wth CT ?

George W

December 9th, 2010
10:23 am

Toby….because Cynthia is ALWAYS wrong!

moses

December 9th, 2010
10:24 am

All aboard the gop xenophobia short bus, next stop at the corner of bigotry blvd. and racism lane.

What a croc!

December 9th, 2010
10:25 am

Cynthia, you shoulda been a politician. You can certainly put a spin on anything! The program has nothing to do with good character, responsibility or anything except whether you finished high school. Period. And there will be NO WAY to track even that. Over 3 million illegals will get the college placements FREE on MY taxpayer dollars that our own American children cannot get. It will push out the American children because there are only a limited number of government loans available and that is dwindling daily. That means, entitlement given to illegals at the cost of Americans and their children. You are nuts, lady!

quid pro quo

December 9th, 2010
10:25 am

I have no problem with immigration. The problem I have is the ones that come here illegally. I have noticed that most liberals tend to drop illegal from the conversation when talking about illegal immigration.

Kamchak

December 9th, 2010
10:25 am

markie mark

There are laws on the books already. But when an influential Senator can call off a raid on illegals picking vidalia onions in the field, kinda makes any law that is enacted superfluous.

Think we've been over this

December 9th, 2010
10:27 am

The extension of “tax cuts for the rich” is about more than just the top tax bracket (you fail to mention the 2% reduction in FICA, which you always refer to as a dastardly “regressive” tax, etc.). It is also about actually having a set policy so that people/businesses can plan (like health care “reform”, businesses will not undertake projects when there is huge uncertainty around taxes). Time for Congress to actually do something and stick to it (if they want to raise taxes, let them raise taxes, just stop changing the rules of th game).
Narrow minded is a word better used to describe liberals/Progressives. If you disagree with them (and they can’t be wrong), you must be narrow minded, racist (Progressives have great history with race relations back to Woodrow Wilson), bigoted, uncaring, blah blah blah…

Equality 7-2521

December 9th, 2010
10:28 am

There is absolutely nothing “patriotic” about an illegal immigrant. Patriotism is doing the right thing for your own country, not creating a financial burden for another’s country.

We cannot afford to take care of our own citizens. We should not be justifying taking care of another nation’s citizens.

Good Grief

December 9th, 2010
10:28 am

moses – How is being against an illegal act xenophobic, bigoted, and racist? If you can explain that without using broad-brush tactics (as some other writers here employ) I might be tempted to give your point of view a try.

andygrdzki

December 9th, 2010
10:29 am

High level math for the Dems and Libs…

Cost of Dream Act $6.2 Billion
Revenue from Dream Act $2.3 Billion

Net loss to “Legal” Taxpayers = -$3.9 Billion…..

LOL..LOL..LOL….. Dems only show one side of the story……

Randy

December 9th, 2010
10:29 am

Cynthia with each passing column you show yourself to be more ignorant than the previous. I for one will be happy for the day you move to the Huffington Post where all the rest of the idiot so called columnists reside. Two things are all you ever write about, racism and hatred for all of the GOP. Get a life.

Kamchak

December 9th, 2010
10:30 am

Kamchak

December 9th, 2010
10:25 am

“There are laws on the books already. But when an influential Senator can call off a raid on illegals picking vidalia onions in the field, kinda makes any law that is enacted superfluous.”

Kinda like when Barack Obama uses the full force and power of the federal government to keep Arizona from enforcing FEDERAL LAW by defending its own border, eh Kammy???

Georgian

December 9th, 2010
10:30 am

This shows only one thing, DEMS are desperate for votes. REPUBS stand pat and say, ya know what, we’re not gonna compromise what is best for this nation for some election.

Jimmy62

December 9th, 2010
10:32 am

Maybe you should call this column, “Democrats turn their backs on the law; now illegal is what the Democrats don’t like, and legal is what they do like.”

George W

December 9th, 2010
10:32 am

So what is Obama to do now? Both the Repubs and the Dems want him out!!!! Haha this is great!

Kamchak

December 9th, 2010
10:32 am

Democrats continue to desperately yearn for amnesty for all illegals who have slunk across our southern border.

Ahhh yes, the amnesty poutrage.

Why wasn’t your thong all atwist 24 years ago?

Oh yeah, because it was St. Ronnie of the Ray-Gun who was occupying the White House and signed the amnesty bill.

IOKIYAR

Halftrack

December 9th, 2010
10:33 am

CT; Why do Liberals always wants to contribute to the detriment of citizens. The Dream Act will kill the education opportunities of legal citizens and make amnesty for many others. If these are so deserving people; why can’t they sign up for citizenship and pay the price that other citizens do. Illegals should not be put in front of the line before legal citizens for taxpayer benefits. We could settle this argument IF the government would control the border as the Constitution requires.

George W

December 9th, 2010
10:34 am

Why do the Dems feel that we should be any different from any other country. There is no other country in the world that will allow someone to sneak into their country and then receive all of the rights that the legal citizens are afforded? It makes no sense.

James

December 9th, 2010
10:35 am

equality- spot on. We are truly enabling the corruption and idiocy of the Mexican leadership. (this can most likely be solve with a beer in the rose garden) It is insulting to the highly intelligent and hard working folks in Mexico.

CopyandPaste

December 9th, 2010
10:36 am

Illegal immigrants are not patriotic to this country. Otherwise, they could go through our existing LEGAL channels to be here. Send them home and let them go through the proper process. They should be placed at the back of the line behind their countrymen who are following our laws.

George W

December 9th, 2010
10:37 am

CopyandPaste….>AMEN

granny godzilla

December 9th, 2010
10:38 am

don’t use logic with me
i operate on emotion

Georgian

December 9th, 2010
10:41 am

Hey George W,

Why doesn’t Cynthia ever report on the ineffectiveness of her party the last 4 years they have controlled Congress and the 2 years they have controlled the Presidency and Congress?

markie mark

December 9th, 2010
10:42 am

Sorry Kam, but Obama’s Justice Dept and Eric Holder sue a state for upholding their laws, and its something you advocate while blaming the right for not doing this….then I stand by my statement that your argument does not hold water. I will understand if this is something else that Obama and the Holder Justice Department has done that disappoints you. But be honest enough to acknowledge its happening and thats a hell of a lot bigger story than one congressman.

Good Grief

December 9th, 2010
10:42 am

Ah, the namejacking abounds. I see Kamchak is arguing with himself and granny is admitting emotion is her basis for opinion. If only we were dealing with sane bloggers.

George W

December 9th, 2010
10:43 am

Georgian……it is called “blind faith”.

Kamchak

December 9th, 2010
10:43 am

Hey mystery meat with the first 10:30 comment—

That post would make more sense if you didn’t try to name-jack me.

What a maroon!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Abolish HHS

December 9th, 2010
10:43 am

Impeach Obama for failure to protect our borders with Mexico from this illegal invasion!

Rafe Hollister

December 9th, 2010
10:44 am

Kammie
I believe Reagan actually thought that his Amnesty would be the last. Looking back, how stupid were he and we to believe that. He never got the enforcement he wanted, as the Congress did not support that, and here we are again.

Something about fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, three times, somewhere along the line, we get it. NO MORE AMNESTY! Imprision employers that hire illegals, deport those here illegally that violate the law, put troops on the border, say no to this Nightmare act.

The Fallen

December 9th, 2010
10:44 am

Granny, 70% of americans support the Dream Act? Way off. Wrong. Sorry. In fact 54% of Americans oppose the Dream Act.

Kamchak

December 9th, 2010
10:46 am

Sorry Kam, but Obama’s Justice Dept and Eric Holder sue a state for upholding their laws, and its something you advocate while blaming the right for not doing this….

Please show me where I have ever stated that I have “advocated this.”

markie mark

December 9th, 2010
10:46 am

and as to your question of where was the outrage at Reagan (and dont forget Carter). There was a hell of a lot of outrage. I lived in St Simons when the carter debacle happened, and I knew shrimpers who were bringing over boatloads of Cubans. And their neighbors were furious at them. Same with Reagan. That card about “where was our outrage” is patently untrue. To this day I dont understand his logic. And conservatives had a fit at the time that we were rewarding illegal behavior. I, for one, believe this single act was a major factor in encouraging the illegal immigration problem we have today. And why I argue to never let this happen again.

shaggy

December 9th, 2010
10:46 am

Not a problem. Just instruct the “Illegal” aliens to go back to their own countries and legally apply.
In short, get in line, but do it legally and in their country. We citizens will be fine until they get that pesky “illegal” thing worked in advance of coming here.

moses

December 9th, 2010
10:47 am

124% of Americans are opinionated…

The Fallen

December 9th, 2010
10:49 am

Amen to that Moses! Numbers, can’t live with them..CAN make them say whatever you want.

markie mark

December 9th, 2010
10:49 am

Damn, Kam. Take a stand and defend it for christs sake. Thats just chicken####. You were taking Republicans to task for not going after the employers of AI’s, and I showed you a MAJOR statewide case where we were, and how the Justice Dept is sueing, and you say you werent advocating that we be fair and go after both sides? Damn, guy, at least have SOME credibility….sheesh….

RGB

December 9th, 2010
10:51 am

Say it with me: “Illegal”.

Rafe Hollister

December 9th, 2010
10:52 am

Markie Mark

Kamchak make an honest effort to support an opinion, no way, he prefers to be cute as he attacks yours.

Good Grief

December 9th, 2010
10:53 am

moses & The Fallen – I think we all understand that Americans have a hard time with numbers. I mean, it’s a known fact that 5/4ths of all Americans have trouble with fractions.

Georgian

December 9th, 2010
10:53 am

George W,

She rails against the blind loyalty of the “narrowminded” Repub base, yet she is practicing what she preaches. We call that a hypocrit where I come from.

Pull My Finger

December 9th, 2010
10:54 am

Cynthia wants illegals to be declared “legal” so that maybe they can vote for her lord and savior Obama and possibly save him in 2012. She believes EVERYTHING should be legal……..sheeeeeesh.

luangtom

December 9th, 2010
10:54 am

My father and his family gave up all that they had in Europe to come here LEGALLY. My wife and I spent months and all of our savings to get her here LEGALLY. What of the countless other millions that have done the same? Will we get our money back and our time back?

Legal immigration is not a problem with me. It is the ILLEGAL immigration that is. No one helped my wife and me assimilate her into American society. She learned English, got her GED, went to tech-school and did a job in Health-care until she became unable to work. No help from the government, federal or state. She did it on her own. So, why should we help create a permanent, obligated voting-base for the Democrats? Why is the Democratic Party so intent on buying their votes with promises of the American dream?