Just hours before the July 23 House Immigration Subcommittee hearing to weigh the possibility of a so-called KIDS Act, I called the Judiciary Committee to express indignation that every panel member favored the DREAM Act-type legislation. KIDS, expected to be introduced by House Majority leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) would give amnesty, among other entitlements, to children allegedly brought to the United States by their parents at an early age and without their knowledge or consent.
Although panels stacked in favor of more immigration are the norm at such hearings, one could be forgiven for hoping for a fairer shake with the Judiciary and Subcommittee headed by, respectively, Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), two Congressmen supposedly against amnesty.
The first panel’s lineup included Reps. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), and the notorious shill, Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.). Their statements echoed each other’s and were very predictable.
We can and should provide a path to citizenship for the young undocumented individuals who were brought here by their parents. These young people have grown up here, attended school here, and know of no other country besides the United States. It should be easy for us to formally accept them into society as long as they have stayed out of trouble and are independent, productive residents.
Panel two featured pro-immigration lobbyists, Dr. Barrett Duke, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; Margie McHugh, Migration Policy Institute; Pamela Rivera, Migration Policy Institute, and Rosa Velazguez, Arkansas Coalition for DREAM.
Coffman and his colleagues’ flowery language overlook key facts, short and long term, that would mitigate against KIDS. Short term, legislation that increases the pool of potential freshman college applicants, as KIDS would, is bad for American high school graduates that aspire to a university education. Citizen children already have to contend with higher annual tuition, increased sundry costs and an ever-growing number of international students who also compete for a fixed number of classroom seats.
Second, and long term, to force taxpayers to subsidize the education of foreign-born students, arming them to compete with Americans for scarce jobs, is flat out wrong. More than 37 million Americans are trying to pay off student debt – they need jobs; over half of recent college graduates cannot find jobs that justify the expense they incurred to get their diplomas – they need jobs.