October 24, 2007

DREAM Act: 'Nightmare' UPDATE: DREAM Is Dead ... Again

Fred Thompson has jumped into the DREAM Act debate occuring as I write in the US Senate. Thompson, who just published his plan for immigration reform this week, calls the Dick Durbin-sponsored act a "nightmare" that will constitute a back-door amnesty. He urges its defeat:

After several false starts Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) continues to push the DREAM Act. What is the DREAM Act? A nightmare.

The act would allow any illegal immigrant who entered the country before the age of 16 to receive conditional residency, which could then be converted to a non-conditional residency. These illegal immigrants can apply for this form of amnesty so long as they are under 30 and they weren’t older than 16 when they came to the country. And, of course, there is no way of proving when they illegally entered our country. After all, they are undocumented. Aliens would qualify even if they received and ignored a removal order if that order was received before they were 16.

Essentially, the DREAM Act puts some illegal aliens in a better position for residency than legal aliens who have played by the rules.

In addition to this stealth amnesty, the DREAM Act, would repeal a portion of the 1996 federal immigration law that prohibits any state from offering in-state college tuition rates to illegal aliens unless the state also offers in-state tuition to all U.S. citizens. Thus, if the DREAM Act passes, any state could offer such a break to qualifying illegal aliens.

The Senate debate essentially is covering the same ground. Jeff Sessions, who opposed the comprehensive immigration reform proposed earlier this year, has just objected to granting amnesty to 1.3 million people as a consequence of the DREAM Act. Arlen Spector, who supported the reform bill this summer, objected to offering this piece of comprehensive reform outside of a bill that would also include enforcement and visa reform. Jim DeMint has just made essentially the same argument.

Dick Durbin, on the other hand, says "we're talking about children!" He's avoiding the issue that created the objections in the first place. The DREAM Act uses children as a means to grant amnesty to the entire families involved. He's holding up poster-sized pictures of college students. He tells the Senate that DREAM Act opponents will bear "the mark of Cain" for opposing educational subsidies for the children of illegal aliens that moves them ahead of legal immigrants and US citizens.

"The mark of Cain"? He thinks that opponents of DREAM Act are murderers? That's demagoguery at its worst.

UPDATE: King Banaian can't believe that students at his school haven't figured out that the DREAM Act means higher tuition for themselves. I think more of them need to take his economics classes.

UPDATE II, 11:50 AM CT: The measure has failed to achieve cloture, as a handful of Democrats join most of the Republicans in voting against the DREAM Act. Durbin fell short of the votes needed to proceed to a floor vote. Spector cast the 41st vote against cloture.

UPDATE III: Final vote is 52-44 for cloture, falling eight votes short.


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Comments (24)

Posted by kb | October 24, 2007 11:32 AM

Patriotism used to be the last refuge of a scoundrel. Children have now been promoted.

Posted by HERMIE | October 24, 2007 11:39 AM

What it boils down to is that some family in Illinois that dutifully obeys the law and pays their taxes and who wants to send their kid to Michigan State, will have to pay more for out-of-state tuition; but an illegal who continually thumbs his nose at the law but will get an in-state tuition break.

Posted by Carol Herman | October 24, 2007 11:52 AM

From where I sit, the senators on the campaign trail for the presidential GOP nomination, share one thing: They are members of congress.

Congress, right now, polls at 11%. In a race, I'll presume, that has them heading into single digits. (Well? If all polls can be accurate to a +/- 3%, look what happens to "11" ... when you subtract the "unknown" factor? (I see a single digit.)

So, yes. The public is paying attention.

It seems that Bush, and his White House crew have provided only meager assistence to the public. He's not liked very much. He hasn't, as president, "MADE THE SALE." He hasn't closed on his war on terror. Or on his over-spending for domestic programs. (Today, Drudge has one headline up, comparing Bush's expenditures to LBJ's. That's how out-of-control this is.)

And, so? Very early. Sensing the GOP was suffering from "voter fatigue." Or whatever else you want to call this. Began going out on the campaign trail, early.

And, so, too, did Hillary. With Obama and the silk pony, working the rear.

When the immigration disaster came down the pike; McCain should have left the nomination stage. But didn't. And, he's now a strong voice for "shooting Bin Laden, himself;" ... and more, more, more war ... but involving iran. (Again? What if lots of people aren't buying?)

Do you have an EDSEL on your hands?

Yes. Hillary is a senator. Maybe, two senators will be "chosen" by their parties, to run in 2008?

While Bush is set on "looking for a legacy" ... at Annapolis. Something that doesn't seem to be getting much traction. But when he pulls out his demand that Israel "recognizes the new terror state," ... yeah. Things can blow up in a hurry.

Or not. Sometimes, a named hurricane, scatters at sea, before touching land.

While the "odd man out," Ron Paul; who is not gaining VOTERS, has, in a strange way become the "clown." But a famous one. Like "Kelly." Kelly-the-Clown. If he's shoved off the stage? I think people will notice the difference.

And, Ron Paul does bring to the debate the question (asked in a terrible manner) "what are we doing with our troops in Irak?"

No. He never asked "how popular are sunni, shi'a and kurds, now? Can you put one of their heroes on a box of Wheaties, and sell this as "The Breakfast of Champions?"

Yes, Americans know there's a big problem, now, with professional politicians. PORK, being the worst form of "commission" these turkeys earn. And, you can't get them away from the trough.

Here? You want to make a case by name-calling one of them? If you could, and it worked, wouldn't Ron Paul be gone? He's not gone.

People just seem to be very quiet. Over in the MAINSTREAM. While this "primary show" plays out. It's designed, I'm sure, to get the "base" motivated.

Won't sell the EDSEL, though.

There really are business models that make great case studies.

Fred Thompson?

He sure is a different sort of character; as people sit around THEIR kitchen tables, talking about this man. His stunning wife. His two kids under the age of 4. While he's old enough to be on social security.

And, ya know what? He's never done live theater!

I think he's missed so many cues; he's like Brando. WHo needed to put dialog on the tips of his shoes. While performing. To get a scene straight.

But that's just me. I'm not a Fred Thompson fan.

Now, however, I worry about Guiliani convincing Americans who tune in the debates, who are UNAFILLIATED to either political side. And, they heard him say "he'd kill ROE." Odd. I didn't think that was a winnah. Right there, I can see a good horse getting scratched.

But that's just me. And, I love American political theater.

Posted by Jeff from Mpls | October 24, 2007 11:58 AM

The mark of Cain in the hebrew scriptures referred to a symbol of mercy. Or am I wrong?

The mark of Cain, in Jewish interpretation, refers to a sign or symbol of some sort, like a scarlet letter, that was meant to alert the Jews that they must not murder him in retaliation for his murder of the righteous Abel.

If we have the mark of Cain, I interpret that as meaning the democrat party has to finally stop demonizing us as bigots, homophobes, sexists, etc.

Can a bible scholar help us here?

Posted by kingronjo | October 24, 2007 11:59 AM

Carol, last I looked the leading GOPers for President are not members of Congress. The only one I see as a matter of fact is McCain.

Glad to see that Snarlin' Arlen came through. It used to be such fun beating up on Lincoln Chaffee as the biggest RINO. Now I would guess it is Spector (only other guess would be the twins). You know, if he really is #49 things could be worse.

I mean look at the DINO's they have Ben Nelson.

Posted by daytrader | October 24, 2007 12:05 PM

We all know people are living longer, but children are still children , this is not graded on the bell curve.

Under SCHIP a child can now as proposed be 25 and under the Dream Act a child is defined as 30.

Well someone please inform the IRS I want to claim a 30 year old as a child on my taxes...somehow I don't think that will get very far.

Posted by Carol Herman | October 24, 2007 12:07 PM

Captain Ed, whether or not kids can figure out the "costs of college," there comes a point where they are saddled with the bills.

A wee-bit back, InstaPundit had a link to a story. About newly minted lawyers. Going to work at law firms. Finally getting "that first job." And, they were earning about $50-K, annually. A drop in the bucket, when your "special credentials" cost you more than $150,000.

In other words, from what I remember, here, Glenn Reynolds said, that after college, these loans don't make any sense.

When that happens?

Well, isn't the housing market slumping?

How will credit-ratings be done, if there's wholesale flight from current loans? You think the taxpapers will get to hold this bag?

Or, will credit institutions have to get realistic, in how they approach debt; writing off for some applicants those college debts, as if they didn't have to get paid back. And, weren't worth a hill of beans?

I guess, having had parents who worked hard in a retail business; that even without "economics" I can relate to the stress. You're making decisions in June, on what to buy for Christmas. And, if you don't sell everything you've bought, before December 24th, you're stuck. It sure makes independent owners very careful buyers, indeed.

Since there's no jobs out there for teenagers, coming out of high school; where do kids learn trades?

I recently had one of those emergency water leaks. And, I used the Yellow Pages, to find someone to show up in a hurry. This man (5 years plumbing experience), had a "helper." A young kid, basically working as an "intern." To learn a trade.

A necessary trade. Not taught in high schools, anymore.

So, part of the jam we are in is due to the fact that we've let colleges become the sponge that sops up the "labor pool" ... where there are just not enough good entry level jobs to go around.

Couple that, with unmarried kids, as adults, living at home. And, you expand on what this problem does.

How did it start? After WW2. Millions of men in uniform were coming out. And, this government, sensing that long unemployment lines for veterans wouldn't be a good thing. So we got the GI-Bill.

This produced an older, better student. In many cases being the "first one in the family to go to college." That's how colleges grew their population.

Only to fall victim to affirmative action; and the loose way we recognize excellence, now.

Sure. Free country. Fads sweep in. And, then they get swept out.

College debt, ahead? Hey, I won't be sad if all that paper isn't worth a plug nickel.

Posted by Carol Herman | October 24, 2007 12:18 PM

Kingronjo, Fred Thompson WAS a member of congress!

Fred Thompson was known to Nixon. And, it's on the record that Nixon thought he was stupid. Like a rock.

Mitt's a governor, from Massa3shits. Which is like being Mike Dukakis, with a pinch more personality.

Guiliani still carries the weight of "not being a real republican." Here? People see New York City, as a liberal sort'of town.

And, there are troubles, produced by Bush, where he hasn't sold the public on his war on terror "gambit." Nobody's yet been able to give this voice. So, you have Ron Paul, (a House man, who gets elected every two years.) Making a name, sort'a, for himself.

There are others, lower in the tier structure; who have "previous experience" ... at something Americans think is worth "about 11%."

If you asked me, months ago. I'd have said Hillary doesn't stand a Chinaman's chance. Then? The dishwashers show up. I'll guess they'll vote?

We're way out, and early, for November 2008.

The democrats, of course, have experience with Jimmy Carter being in the White House, which made their 1980 ticket 'lag.'

If that were a business model, what would it teach you?

Gosh. You know me and my books! I can't recommend Eric Lane's THE GENIUS OF AMERICA, more highly enough. It shows ya, how early in the ballgame, as the Federation failed; our Founding Fathers locked themselves in a room. In Philadelphia. To birth the US Constitution.

It's a reality based document. Gone is the belief that people "of good will, do good deeds." Instead? In flowed greed. And, self-interest. And, a document full of compromise; that didn't give any one particular faction the room to dictate to others.

I can't change what the future holds.

But I can read stuff, to my heart's content.

And, as I've said, before. America's political theater, every four years, attracts attention. (Like the Punch & Judy Show?) That was "street theater, too." What a way to have to earn a livelihood! Amazing. There were volunteers!

Posted by AnonymousDrivel | October 24, 2007 12:28 PM

The amnesty by piecemeal continues to choke the electorate, however Congress keeps trying to force it down our throats.

Interesting to see how a couple of Republicans voted. First, Melquíades Rafael "Mel" Martínez votes "yea" for amnesty shortly after resigning from his position as Chairman of the RNC. Yes, he's one of those Bush "comprehensive" legislators who wanted open borders from the get go. Not really surprising so I guess he gets to avoid voter wrath for his leadership on the issue.

What is a little surprising, though not completely unexpected considering her previous wishy-washy rhetoric on the immigration issues, is Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) who also voted "yea" for amnesty. She could usually be counted on to go against amnesty due to relentless pressure. Not anymore. About a week ago she announced that she would not seek reelection for Senator (TX) and may leave her post before her term completes. I guess that gives her the freedom to vote her "conscience" against the wishes of her constituency.

So, how's that fence coming along, Mr. President? Mr. Chertoff? Pete Sessions said it has reached about 100 miles now though I don't know if that's under or over estimating it. Just think. By the end of the next President's first term, we might have a completed fence that only partially cordons one border. How on Earth did this country ever make it to the Moon?

Posted by doug in colorado | October 24, 2007 12:29 PM

Carole, you said:"Fred Thompson was known to Nixon. And, it's on the record that Nixon thought he was stupid. Like a rock."

Nixon also thought breaking into Dem hq in the Watergate was smart...so his opinion of Fred Thompson means squat.

Posted by bayam | October 24, 2007 1:00 PM

Amnesty is inevitable. With an unemployment rate hovering at historic lows, the US needs immigrants to fill jobs and keep the economy on the right track. Since WWII, the US has turned its back while a large number of Mexican immigrants were allowed to enter the country to take on agriculture jobs that were undesireable to US citizens. Today, the number of jobs filled by illegals has grown considerably, and the economy is even more dependent on them.

Sealing the border should remain the highest priority for now, along with efforts to enfore and promote a one country, one language national policy. However, any path that leads to a planned, mass eviction of millions of working, illegal immigrants is the wrong way to go.

Posted by daytrader | October 24, 2007 1:19 PM

Watching my RSS reader pop up all those posts from the moonbat left today about how they just can't catch a break.

Dream is dead again, Judge Southwick got through committee, SCHIP is in major trouble and then to make them really pull out their hair Stark apologized. They were not to pleased with retroactive coverage of the telecoms either.

The far left is up in arms over Pelosi and Reid.

The far left is even not buying into the spin by Reid to take credit for the Limbaugh auction of the smear letter.

Now I see Reid is bringing back one of his old staffers to improve his image and the far left is stacking their chips on the bet that she will be able to make Reid more confrontational.

Like that's gonna work.

Posted by boqueronman | October 24, 2007 1:21 PM

There is no evidence that Nixon personally was involved in either the planning or execution of the Watergate break-in. His sin was aiding and abetting the cover-up. John Dean, who was acting to protect his wife Mo, the ex-"roommate" of a known member of a major D.C. mafia-managed prostitution ring (often frequented by Democrat big-wigs), is the most likely "brains" behind the affair. Dean has never owned up to the real truth of who had the bright idea.

Posted by BoWowBoy | October 24, 2007 1:24 PM

All I can say is ..........thank God .......again.

Posted by John Doe | October 24, 2007 2:55 PM

This vote was a gain for amnesty. Only 36 Rs voted against cloture. This is five short of stop/bill, which is 41. Worse, Specter and some other No votes are pro-amnesty. I'm glad it failed, understand, but this was an ominous tally. The jokers in Congress will say, virtually to a person, that the US must turn OFF the magnets that attract illegals. Then, dozens vote to establish a NEW magnet, tuition subsidies, in a new, multibillion dollar entitlement, WITH family chain migration attached. This is dishonest government at its worst. The next President really, really needs to come from outside the Beltway.

Posted by LarryD | October 24, 2007 3:02 PM

FYI, illegal aliens have displaced teenagers from a lot of "first job" positions.

And there has been more than one instance where the illegal aliens were flushed out, and lo and behold, a lot of Americans lined up to apply for the now open jobs. Which leads me to suspect that "jobs Americans won't do" really means "job American won't do for what I want to pay".

We have existing visa programs (H-1, H-2, etc). I believe one of the agricultural ones doesn't even have a ceiling on the number of workers per year that can be admitted. But illegal aliens will work cheaper. Tough. The laws should be enforced.

And the number of illegal alien workers we used to have, back in Eisenhower's day, is only a fraction of the number we have now. Numbers make a difference between an ignorable situation an an intolerable one.

Posted by KauaiBoy | October 24, 2007 4:33 PM

We only have ourselves to blame for this mess (god I sound like a self loathing democrat) -- we the people elected (and reelected)the miscreants in Congress; we the people use lawn service companies that employ illegal aliens (not to mention cleaning maids and nannies); and we the people like cheap meat products. So what to do---elect lawmakers and not politicians (and learn to tell them apart---the politician never stops talking to listen); cut our own lawns and let the small business guy start paying his fair share of taxes (we fat Americans could use the exercise); start rearing and watching your own kids and not rely on society to fulfill your responsibilities; and savor that tasty burger while knowing an American is getting paid a decent wage. Or we can leave it up to the politicians and continue ranting on the blogs.

Posted by flenser | October 24, 2007 6:18 PM

Amnesty is inevitable. With an unemployment rate hovering at historic lows, the US needs immigrants to fill jobs and keep the economy on the right track.

A new Wal Mart opened in Cleveland recently. It received over 5000 applications for 300 positions. There is no labor shortage in America.

On an unrelated note, a large supply of cheap labor does not "keep the economy on the right track".

Posted by FedUp | October 24, 2007 6:59 PM

How many times do we have to tell the idiots that we don't want amnesty? The fax and call in campaign has done the job so far, but I fear that it won't last!

Posted by jaeger51 | October 24, 2007 10:58 PM

Hear hear. There can't possibly be a huge shortage of jobs that can only be filled by uneducated foreigners that can't speak English. Business and some Republicans think there is a huge shortage of slave like people who will work for nearly nothing. Democrats and government bureaucrats think there is a shortage of people who need my tax money and will vote those who will give them that into office. I think there should be a shortage of employed professional politicians. Who's with me?

Posted by Oldcrow | October 25, 2007 5:04 AM

My Senator (Martinez) voted for it of course, I gotta tell ya I voted for the man however, I will be sure to correct that mistake when he comes up for reelection. We need a strong conservative to run against him in the primary here in Florida I can only pray one steps forward when it is time.

Posted by Oldcrow | October 25, 2007 5:06 AM


I concur it seems we have a party of people who are more worried about job security than doing the right thing.

Posted by Roy E | October 25, 2007 9:00 AM

Norm Coleman of Minnesota reportedly voted for cloture (in favor) of the Dream Act.

He also voted in favor of SCHIP.

Conservatives need to be looking for someone less supportive of creeping Socialism.

For a Repiblican, Coleman is proving to be very disappointing. He appears to be seeking admission to the Snowe/Collins RINO club.

Posted by Elizabeth Rogers | October 25, 2007 10:45 AM

Bayam -- you must be one of those "doom and gloom" liberals -- amnesty is not inevitable if Americans continue to stand together to protect our country and our childrens' rights. Illegals are crippling our schools, our health services, our colleges, our wages and our culture. It might take years, but all illegals (no matter where they are from) need to be deported. The first order of business is to stop the anchor baby act. This only promotes the illegals' criminal activity of breaking into our country and robbing U.S. citizens. They are all criminals as soon as they cross the border illegally.

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