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5 Reasons “Dreamers” Shouldn’t Be Given Amnesty

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

There’s an old legal saying that goes, “Hard cases make bad law.” Essentially, what that means is that when you try to take an extreme case and use it as the basis for general laws, the end product doesn’t work very well. In this case, when you try to take the most sympathetic group of illegal aliens and craft a law around them, it’s going to create a huge mess. Setting aside the fact that illegals of any age are breaking the law and that could be the entire list 1-5, there are a number of other reasons that young illegal aliens should not be allowed to stay.

1) The “Dreamers” are mostly adults, not children or teens. Many people seem to believe “Dreamers” are little kids. Actually, only 22% of them are even below the age of 25 according to the Department of Homeland Security. Moreover, there are “Dreamers” as old as THIRTY SIX eligible under the largely unverifiable requirements of the program. So we’re not talking about kids and we’re not talking about children. In some cases we’re talking about people who’ve spent more than a decade knowingly breaking our immigration laws as adults. Why would we want to give amnesty to someone like that?

2) Kids get punished for things their parents do all the time. If mom and dad sneak their kid into a waterpark without paying, they ALL get kicked out at the same time. Why should it be any different with our country? If an American man commits an armed robbery, he doesn’t get to avoid jail time because there’s a kid at home who will be deprived of his daddy. If mom is an alcoholic, dad refuses to work or both of them are weirdos who think little Sally needs to have gender reassignment surgery because she likes to play with trucks, the kids suffer. This is life and the idea that the government can fix every mistake parents make with their kids is unworkable and foolish.  That’s doubly true when you’re talking about adults. Americans typically don’t get a pass for breaking the law when they’re adults because mommy and daddy weren’t good parents when they were kids. “Dreamers” shouldn’t get one either.

3) Republicans are giving up on making a real deal before they’ve even started. I am adamantly against illegal immigration and think it would be a huge mistake to legalize “Dreamers.” Unfortunately, the GOP seems hell-bent on doing it no matter what conservatives think.  Theoretically this might make sense because since this is a group of people Democrats care about desperately, it’s the best chance we’ll ever have to actually get them to cooperate on serious anti-immigration measures. At a minimum, we should ask for funding of a wall, taking E-Verify national as well as a merit-based immigration system and tough anti-illegal immigration measures before “Dreamers” get legal status, not citizenship. Getting even half of that would be something the GOP could brag about after years of failure on the issue.

Unfortunately, Donald Trump has already confirmed that he’s not going to demand a wall in return for “Dreamers.” Worse yet, he’s said that he’ll take care of the “Dreamers” no matter what already amnesty loving Republicans like John McCain and Paul Ryan do in Congress. In other words, even though this is the best chance Republicans will ever have to come to an agreement on immigration, they’ve given away all of their leverage before they’ve even gotten started. What that means is we’re likely to see the GOP get some minor face-saving security measures while the Democrats will get whatever they want in return (which will certainly mean bringing in a lot more illegals than are currently included under DACA). Granted, Trump being Trump, might change his mind and decide to play hardball on the issue, but at the moment it looks like another typical “bipartisan” deal is in the works that will end up with liberal Democrats getting 90% of what they want while people who believe in putting Americans first get the shaft.

4) Many of the “Dreamers” are not who you think they are. If you listen to the way young illegals are described in the press, you’d think they are all 11 year olds who were brought here when they were three or young geniuses acing college.

However, “Dreamers” are much less educated than American kids. Twenty one percent drop out of high school, compared to 5.9% of American kids. Twenty two percent of those of age have bachelor’s degrees, compared to 32% of Americans.  

Some of them aren’t all that young either. The cutoff for DACA was 31 years of age on June 15, 2012. In other words, there are 36 year old “Dreamers” who’d be eligible for permanent residence – if they’re not even older. When people are here illegally, without documentation, how do you really know their age? How do you know they arrived here before they were 16 (which is a DACA requirement)? It’s not shocking that some estimates put the level of fraud in the program as high as 50%.

On top of all that, eligible illegals can be high school drop outs, have up to two misdemeanor convictions and are not required to speak English. Do any of those groups sound like people we should want living here long term?

5) It will encourage more illegals to bring their kids here. When you reward lawbreaking with amnesty, you get more lawbreaking. When Obama announced his DACA policy, a surge of illegal children came over the border. The same thing would happen again if we legalize young illegals, except it would be much more sustained. After all, if we’re actually changing the law so that young illegals will get to stay, why wouldn’t every illegal bring his kid? That’s especially true since we have an immigration system that rewards family ties, not merit. Bring the kid over today and even if you are kicked out now, he’ll get to stay and bring you in later.

Besides, is there anyone who believes we can ignore the law this time, but then 10 years from now kick millions of illegals out of the country who supposedly came here as children? It’s not going to happen because we’re setting a precedent for ignoring the law in this situation. Either we’re going to enforce the law or we’re going to have this exact same problem down the road, except even worse. Ronald Reagan was suckered into a “one-time” amnesty in return for promises of security that were never delivered. How can Republicans in Congress be so stupid as to learn nothing from his example? Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us.


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