Once again, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and the Obama administration are attempting to negate the United States Constitution and the will of the American people in a cynical attempt to satisfy yet another of their multiple special interest groups. If they can get their lame (soon-to-be-dead) ducks in a row, they would saddle the country with the so-called DREAM (Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors) Act before the Congressional term ends and sanity can be restored. Simply stated, the DREAM Act, which was introduced first in 2001, provides a path to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants. This would be done either by qualifying for and completing a term of military service, or acquiring a degree or completing at least two years toward a bachelor's degree within a six-year period. Like most liberal ideas, the DREAM Act is not what it appears to be and leaves open numerous avenues for waste, fraud, and government expansion at the expense of the American taxpayer.
The military service provision is a seductive lure. Many, if not most, Americans would not begrudge citizenship to individuals of good character who volunteered for the Armed Services and were honorably discharged. A number of immigrants, including some children of illegals, have served with distinction, and some have made the supreme sacrifice.
The educational provision of the bill is the Pandora's box that reveals it as just another component in a thinly disguised path to amnesty. In the latest version, participants in the program, though not eligible for Pell grants, would qualify for student loans and work study programs. Recall that the Obama administration, at the time of the stimulus -- arbitrarily and without authority -- seized control of the entire student loan program. Presuming that there is only so much money available for student loans, the DREAM Act introduces yet another political motive for favoritism into the lending process.
Needless to say, the administration of such a program as this will require a massive addition to, or extension of, the federal bureaucracy at multiple levels. It will also place administrative and other burdens on the university system.
Then, there is the additional consideration of the qualifications and admission process. Would the illegals be given preference? Would they have to meet the same admission and academic standards? Would the assistance cover tuition only or extend to books and board? These are just a few of the unanswered questions.
Another red flag appears in the restrictive nature of the program. Anyone surveying the state of higher education in the United States is well aware that college is not for everyone. Vocational training represents a much more realistic and remunerative opportunity for many young people. The relationship between the left and the higher education community is no secret, and it is clear that the preference given the university establishment to the exclusion of other training programs is in itself politically motivated.
Yet more problems occur in making student loans to individuals who are not citizens. Suppose they decide not to complete the program or return to their home country? How then is the money recaptured? Suppose again that they complete the program but decide against citizenship, return home, and ignore the debt?
One of the ploys used by illegals to game the American system is the oft-referred to anchor baby. Because of the wording of the 14th Amendment, which was intended to guarantee citizenship to former slaves, all children born in the United States currently are regarded as automatically citizens. For illegals, this fact carries extensive benefits, not only for the child and its parents, but for the extended family as well. Seen in context, the DREAM Act offers the means of conferring belated anchor baby status on near-adult children and represents the complex and expensive beginnings of yet another amnesty program. That it would be revived at the present time is indicative of the nightmare desperation of the liberal Democratic establishment.
As with the housing crisis that helped precipitate the recession, the DREAM act can and will result in bad debts, uncollectible loans, and poor treatment of those, both native and immigrant, who played by the rules.