Reid's Intent to Use Defense Bill to Pass DREAM Act Amnesty Denounced as Cynical and Divisive by FAIR
(Washington, D.C. September 14, 2010) Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) today announced that he intends to attach a massive illegal alien amnesty provision to the Defense Authorization bill scheduled to be considered by the Senate next week. The DREAM Act would reward illegal aliens with amnesty and would allow them to benefit from taxpayer-funded college tuition and other benefits. The DREAM Act would also reverse a 1996 law that bars states from offering in-state tuition benefits to illegal aliens and would make all illegal aliens eligible for taxpayer subsidized tuition at public colleges and universities.
The DREAM Act, which was first introduced in 2000, has consistently been opposed by the American people and has lacked the political support to pass as a free-standing measure. The timing of the announcement therefore appears to be entirely the result of Sen. Reid's own re-election efforts in Nevada and his belief that passage of the DREAM Act amnesty will appeal to Hispanic voters, says the Federation for American Immigration Reform. It also comes at a time when nearly every state university system is facing severe fiscal constraints, raising tuitions, and slashing programs and admissions.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which has consistently opposed the DREAM Act amnesty on its merits, responded sharply to Sen. Reid's announcement that he would use the Defense Authorization bill as a vehicle to reward illegal aliens. "At a time when our country is at war and our troops are fighting and dying in Afghanistan, the use of a bill to authorize funding for our military to benefit illegal aliens exemplifies why the American public has grown contemptuous of the way today's Washington operates," stated Dan Stein, president of FAIR.
Passage of the DREAM Act would further harm law-abiding middle class families by diverting scarce educational resources to the children of illegal aliens. "For many middle class families, the only option for ensuring their kids get the education they will need to compete in the 21st century economy are public colleges and universities. The DREAM Act would result in even more seats being filled by illegal aliens and those who are legalized by this bill.
"Middle class workers and middle class taxpayers are already bearing a $113 billion a year burden for their government's refusal to protect them against mass illegal immigration," Stein said. "Now Sen. Reid is asking them to dig even deeper into their pockets and to sacrifice their own children's educational opportunities because he believes it will help his own political prospects. It is a move that is cynical, deeply troubling and divisive."
Proponents of the DREAM Act argue that the bill is a compassionate response to the circumstances of "kids" who were brought to this country illegally by their parents. In reality, it would apply to illegal aliens up to the age of 35. The act also rewards parents who violate immigration laws by giving their children a benefit as a direct result of their illegal actions.
The DREAM Act would also encourage more illegal immigration in the future. "Approval of the DREAM Act would send a clear message to parents that violating U.S. immigration laws will result in eventual citizenship and access to expensive taxpayer financed benefits for their kids. Why wouldn't millions more people decide to break our laws?" asked Stein.
"Rewarding people who break our laws is wrong. Rewarding them at the expense of struggling American workers and students is unfair. Linking that reward to funding for the people who are defending our nation is the epitome of political cynicism," concluded Stein.