Lets start from a point of honesty here. The DREAM Act, in its current form, is a ploy to make it seem like democrats are doing work for Latino voters, while actually only giving lip service to some of the things that they want. The democrats could have passed some significant immigration reforms of some kind over the last couple years had they really wanted to, as many provisions of comprehensive reform are much less controversial than the health care reform bill that they passed, but they chose not to.
It is crystal clear that this empty pander job they’re pulling on the DREAM Act right now is just that… empty… a mirage. They know it wont pass, they’re just floating it to make it seem like they’re putting work into it, without doing anything that is politically risky. I hope it explodes in their face as much as the empty promises President Obama and the democrats deserve over their empty promises to the gay community might in the coming year or so.
But something with some aspects of the DREAM Act could indeed pass, if the democrats were at all willing to put together a package that wasn’t so full of holes.
Its really sad too, because our country is forcing out tens of thousands of highly educated potential citizens through its ridiculous policies. But changing this bill so, for instance, those who are allowed to stay through the DREAM Act would not be able to bring their family (outside of spouse and children that is) in unless they were someone who fills a need in our economy as well. Having a relative that has recently become a citizen should not be a ticket to citizenship… although it does makes sense to make it so if we are looking at two applicants who are equally qualified, we pick the one who has a relative already here.
We already have a glut of low skilled labor here. We need to shut off that spigot. It is the educated labor force that is coming here from all over the world, to attend our world class universities, gaining valuable degrees and then leaving because of backwards laws that values family ties over who would actually add to our economy the most, that we need to focus on changing the laws for so we can stop squandering that human resource. We can’t afford to do that any longer, and we can’t afford to continue diluting the earning power of lower income segments of the population by continuing to bring even more in.
I also find it strange that they can get in if they don’t complete a standard four year enlistment in the military, and can stay in even if they are dishonorably discharged. I’m a million times over in support of people who serve in our military being able to become citizens… I’d even say that they should automatically become citizens the very day they pass the four years threshold in the military, or are honorably discharged for some other reason, and be able to bring their immediate family (spouse and children only, not parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents, etc) with them… and if they should die, or be seriously injured, in the line of duty, their spouse and children should get citizenship automatically as well.
These are common sense changes that would make the bill much more palatable. I’m not sure if it would pass… I’m sure there would be a lot of horse trading like with any major bill, but I can tell you it would say a lot more to Latinos that democrats are actually doing work for their interests, and the interests of our country and economy, than this obvious farce.
(ADDITION – I’ll add another type of immigrant that we should make it MUCH easier to come into the country… those who have a business plan and the funding to get it started. If the business succeeds they should have a fast track to citizenship, for adding to the economy and creating jobs.)